By: Dr. H. Priyo Wahyudi, M.Si.
LPPOM MUI Laboratory Expert Team
Microbiology & Biotechnology Expert
Vegan, in general, is a term that represents a diet without food derived from animals and their derivatives. This eating pattern has become a trend in global society. The industry is seeing opportunities in this regard, and testing vegan products is becoming essential to avoid fraud.
Vegetarians practice a vegetarian lifestyle, namely, that does not consume food derived from animals, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, honey, and shellfish.
Etymologically, the word vegetarian is taken from the Latin word “vegetus,” which means whole, healthy, and alive. The term vegetarian first appeared in 1847 in England with the founding of the Vegetarian Society. Meanwhile, the term vegan only appeared in the 1940s, representing people who do not consume food derived from animals at all.
The term vegan was coined by taking the first three letters of the word and the last two letters of the word vegetarian. Veganism can be said to be the strictest form of vegetarianism; some call it “pure vegetarian” or “pure vegetarian.”
With its long history, today, the public is widely aware of several vegetarian diets:
- Lacto-vegetarians consume plant foods but still tolerate milk and other dairy products.
- Ovo-vegetarians consume plant foods but still accept eggs and processed products.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians consume plant foods but drink milk, eggs, and processed products.
- Vegans consume only plant foods and do not tolerate all ingredients from animals, poultry, milk, eggs, honey, and processed products.
There has been a shift in consumer interests and tendencies in choosing food products. Most consumers tend to choose food that cares about environmental sustainability, consuming food made from plant and natural ingredients and products that support body health, disease resistance, and increasing energy and mood.
Plant-based processed food products are increasingly easy to find with various innovations. Vegetable-based processed food products, or what is called plant-based, are not recognized in the registration of processed food products in Indonesia because there are yet to be any regulations.
Referring to the existing definition of plant-based food products, they are processed food products that contain mostly vegetable ingredients and still tolerate a small portion of non-vegetable ingredients. The existence of plant-based food products can be an intermediate product for ordinary people who are just trying to start a lifestyle of consuming plant-based foods but have yet to reach the vegan level.
Vegan products are processed food products with very high production and market increases from year to year. The increase is no longer linear but logarithmic. The research, development, and innovation results from vegan product developers and vegan food producers have contributed to providing vegan food products that are increasingly diverse, sustainable, and readily available on the market.
Vegan testing also has three significant benefits: avoiding fraud or counterfeiting, increasing product-added value, and quality control and assurance. First, prevent fraud or counterfeiting. Vegan consumers have a high level of concern and attention to the source of their ingredients, so a negative animal DNA test can ensure that the food source is genuinely plant-based.
Second, increase the added value of the product. Processed food products that include negative animal DNA test results can obtain a vegan certificate, be registered with BPOM as processed food products with a vegan claim, and place a vegan label on the product packaging. The added value of processed food products will increase significantly with the vegan claim.
Third, quality control and assurance. Vegan testing is a quality control methodology to verify the absence of animal ingredients in processed food products and a quality guarantee from vegan processed food producers to all consumers that these products are free of animal ingredients.
The LPPOM MUI Laboratory provides vegan testing and animal DNA testing services to answer the need for verified vegan products. This test will likely make it easier for business actors to comply with regulations for including vegan labels, increasing product value, protecting consumers, and guaranteeing brand reputation. Complete information regarding this test can be accessed on the website https://e-halallab.com/. (***)