A thickener, gelling agent, phosphate, humectant, and emulsifier, E471 belongs to the category of additives. Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids are known as E471. Fatty acids derived from natural fatty acids and glycerol are synthetic fats. They can come from either plants or animals. The E471 is usually a mixture of several products. The composition of this substance is similar to that of partially digested natural fat.

What is E471

In glycerol monostearate and glycerol distearate, fatty acids are divided into mono- and diglycerides. Several products are included in this synthetic fat, and it comes from animal and plant sources. A fat-containing food such as ice cream or whipped cream contains glycerol monostearate.

E471 is Halal or Harm?

Consumers are also concerned about whether E471 is halal. Let’s get started. Plant-derived or domestic animal fats (cows, goats, sheep, buffaloes, etc.) are considered halal.

Fats derived from soy are Halal. It is Haram if it is made from pork fat. Suppose the fat is derived from another animal fat, such as beef fat. Therefore, ‘non-zabiha’ beef is considered Haram. In this case, the animal is Halal if it is ‘zabiha.’

What Is E471 In Foods?

A popular ingredient in baked goods is E471. It is an emulsifier used in food.

A number beginning with ‘E’ indicates a safe additive, as determined by the tests. The main purpose of E471 is to help mix liquids together. It consists of mono- or diglycerides.

As an ingredient, it is often derived from soy, but it can also come from animal sources.

Food containing both water and oil needs an emulsifying agent. The immiscibility of oil and water makes emulsifiers necessary for stabilizing the mixture. Therefore, E471 can be found in most baked goods. Other food items that contain E471 include:

  • Chocolates
  • Muffins
  • Bread
  • Jam
  • Jellies
  • Cream
  • Icecream
  • Cured meat
  • Margarine
  • Candies
  • Custard Powder
  • Baby foods
  • Processed foods
  • Readymade foods or instant snacks

E471 can also be used for other purposes. It can perform various functions as a thickener, a preventative, a preservative, and a humectant. In addition, it can extend the shelf life of different foods. E471 prevents sugar crystallization in most sweet foods.

E471 is most commonly used as an emulsifier or stabilizer. They enhance the dish’s quality, texture, and smoothness. Furthermore, agar-agar, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, and others are known vegan emulsifiers.

Do you know if E471 is Safe to Consume?

Consuming E471 is safe. The animal-sourced E471 does not appear to have any negative effects, as it is identical to the vegetable-oil-sourced E471.

Animal-sourced E471 is still recommended for use since it’s derived from animals and isn’t a by-product; therefore, it causes animal exploitation.

How Is E471 Obtained?

There are two types of glycerides in E471. A glycerol-fatty acid reaction produces glycerides. Standard plant oils include soy oil, palm oil, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, etc. Transesterification can also generate glycerol from triglycerides and glycerol. Most food emulsifiers are derived from soybean and corn oils, which are sources of triglycerides.

Using animal fats like lard and pig fat can replace plant oils. A mono or diglyceride derived from these animal sources is similar to an E471 derived from plants. Thus, you need to determine the difference between the two based on their taste or texture.

Does it Pose any Health Risks?

There are no known negative health effects associated with this food additive. For vegetarians, it may be a cause for concern since animal fat may play a role in its production. Ideally, the food label should indicate whether the fat was sourced from animal or plant sources.

Read more about E631 and E422.

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