Need help with checking ingredients in Chinese

So I’ve been getting into baking recently and have trouble with looking at ingredients to know whether it’s vegan or not. Does anyone have a checklist or know which words would let me know if it contains dairy products? I know the basic one like milk powder 奶粉, but then there are a lot of other words that google translate doesn’t seem to do a good job of. Any help would be great. Thanks.

What kind of ingredients are we talking about?

Also be aware the word in chinese people often associate with vegan isnt vegan. Its buddhist vegan which means vegetarian that cant eat garlic/onion group. But they can eat dairy and eggs. So the label wont help too much on that. Learn to recognise the character for milks and eggs

Taiwan is redoing its labelling laws a lot now. So each ingredient, if not tauwanese, must be followed by country of origin on the ingredients. If you are worried about health and origin.

奶 = milk
蛋 = egg
奶素 = lacto vegetarian
蛋素 = ovo-vegetarian (I don’t know that I’ve ever really seen this)
奶蛋素 = lacto-ovo vegetarian
全素 = vegan (generally)
純素 = vegan
植物五辛素 = translated as vegan but actually means it’s vegetarian but contains onion, garlic, etc and may or may not have dairy products or eggs

If you’re in a baking store and can speak enough Chinese, the easiest thing is to ask the people in the shop if they can confirm the ingredients don’t have any dairy products.

I thought the stricter Buddhist vegetarians didn’t eat dairy or eggs?

I dunno if any of those vegetarian terms you quoted would mean a lot culturally, have you actually seen them on any packaging? I’ve occasionally seen vegan in English, but I think it is something where they are imitating a competitor product and are just slapping it on there. If you were to use those terms verbally you would definitely get some pretty perplexed looks. Basically if you are trying to get your point across in a store, there is Buddhist vegetarian and not, and the character for that is 素. If you tell someone you chi(1)su(4) they might at least narrow down some items for you to browse.

Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of them on labels. Packaged products in convenience stores frequently have them. Products marketed to vegetarians have them. Instant noodles have them. If you see them then the product is generally as described.

Verbally, they all work as well. Taiwanese will frequently clarify if something is 奶素 or 全素.

純素 and 植物五辛素 are things that I’ve seen but you rarely hear.

‘Vegan’ doesn’t really mean anything. ‘Pure vegetarian’ doesn’t mean much more as they mean no onions, etc but I’ve seen it listed (in English) on products that have dairy.

Depend on what you mean by strict.

If by strict you mean closer to how Buddha actually ate and dictated how monks should eat, then you can totally eat dairy or eggs. Heck, you could even eat meat, as long as the food is acquired through daily almsgiving.

深黑苦甜~植物性油脂(完全氫化棕櫚油)、特級砂糖、乳糖、可可粉、可可脂、 乳化劑(脂肪酸甘油脂、脂肪酸甘油脂)、香料、香莢蘭醛、大豆卵磷脂

特級深黑苦甜 氫化棕櫚核仁油.可可粉.砂糖/乳糖(不含蔗糖).可可脂.大豆卵磷脂.乳化劑.香莢蘭醛.香料

白巧克力~植物性油脂(完全氫化棕櫚油)、特級砂糖、脫脂奶粉、乳糖、可可脂、 乳化劑(脂肪酸甘油脂、脂肪酸甘油脂)、香料、大豆卵磷脂、香莢蘭醛

Been seeing these brands in a lot of baking stores. Are any of these words indicative of non-vegan?

They all show 乳糖 which is lactose. Is that vegan?

It’s milk sugar which is made from whey which generally is not vegan unless the rennet in the whey is vegetarian then…probably?

However, if a person is vegan it probably is off limits.

What about this brand? Nothing in the ingredients seem to pop out as dairy based. If this one isn’t then I give up. Can’t seem to find vegan chocolate o.O

Looks good. It just says “sugar”, which I would assume means sucrose or cane sugar.

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I don’t recall coming across dairy, eggs, garlic etc. in (zhai) restaurants either.

(Fun fact: they also use this character to advertise Buddhist vegetarian food in Thailand, even when the food is not the least bit Chinese.)

Ingredients: cocoa paste, sugar, soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavor. Place of production: France.

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Deep black bittersweet: vegetable grease (fully hydrogenated palm oil), cocoa powder, granulated sugar/lactose (not including cane sugar), cocoa fat, soy lecithin, emulsifier, 香莢蘭醛 (?), flavor.

Special grade deep black bittersweet: hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa powder, granulated sugar/lactose (not including cane sugar), cocoa fat, soy lecithin, emulsifier, 香莢蘭醛, flavor.

White chocolate: vegetable grease (fully hydrogenated palm oil), special grade granulated sugar, skim milk powder, lactose, cocoa fat, emulsifier [some kind of fatty acid or glyceride, but there seems to be a typo as the same word is given twice in a row], flavor, soy lecithin, 香莢蘭醛.

香莢蘭醛 sounds like some kind of flavoring agent, but in any case, stay away from hydrogenated oil. :2cents:

The Thai word for that kind of vegetarian is “je”, as well

+1 Someone was trying to tell me on another thread they don’t use hydrogenated palm oil anymore… :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the help y’all. Think I know what to look for when checking out ingredients. Carrefour seems to have some brands that are vegan as well. Or, at least seems vegan with the sketchy wordings. :roll_eyes: (sticking with the few ingredient high percentage cocoa or dark chocolate kinds)