Some pork by-products include gelatin, glycerin, pig hair and fatty acids. These by-products are used in paint brushes, beauty products, food thickeners, dog treats and paper.
Culinary purposes aside, pork and pig by-products are used in 185 different products around the world. Pork gelatin is a common ingredient used in candy, acting as a gelling agent in many popular confections such as gummy bears and marshmallows. Acting as a clarifying agent, gelatin is used in certain beer, wines and fruit juices to absorb the natural cloudiness of the beverages. It is also used as a stabilizer in whipped cream and cream cheese. Everyday daily hygiene products also contain pork glycerin, including toothpaste, shampoo, soaps and lotions. For practical uses, pig hair is used for bristles in inexpensive paintbrushes and is processed and added to some fertilizers.
The use of pork by-products is a widespread practice across the world. If using pork by-products is against a religious or ethical code, individuals should look further into a product's label for assurance that it is free of pork by-products. The terms "kosher," "vegan" and "vegetarian" are three excellent indicators that a product is free from ingredients that have been derived from an animal.