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Dairy Ingredient List
A list of dairy ingredient names used on food labeling, to help you shop dairy free.
When you first change your diet to dairy free, whether it’s because of an allergy, an intolerance or through personal choice, it can be overwhelming when you realise just how many common food products contain dairy and not all of the ingredient names are obvious. If you are changing your diet to dairy free due to an allergy and have been referred to a dietitian then your dietitian can advise you about dairy free foods and give you a list of the different dairy ingredients to avoid, this list does not replace professional medical advice and you should always seek professional medical advice before changing your diet.
In the UK and Europe the law around food labeling changed on 13th December 2014.
What are the changes?
The changes are:
- Any of the 14 allergens that are on the regulatory list is to be emphasised on the label, if they are used as ingredients in a pre-packaged food. Businesses can choose what method they want to use to emphasise these allergens, for example, by listing them in bold, italics, highlighted or underlined, to help identify them.
- Information about allergenic ingredients is to be located in a single place, i.e. the ingredients list on prepacked food. This means that the voluntary use of the previous types of allergy boxes (such as: ‘Contains nuts’) that provide a short cut to allergen ingredients information also given in the ingredients list, is no longer allowed. The use of voluntary precautionary allergen labelling such as ‘may contain’, to indicate the risk of unintentional presence of allergens in a food, is still permitted and has not been affected by this regulation.
- Previously, loose foods (that can be bought without packaging) for example in supermarkets, delis, cafes and restaurants; didn’t have to provide information you need about food allergens. However, since 13 December 2014, information on any of the 14 allergens used as ingredients should be provided for these foods.
The 14 allergens are:
- crustaceans (for example crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, prawn)
- molluscs (for example mussels, oysters, squid)
- tree nuts (namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, brazils, pistachios, macadamia nuts or Queensland nuts)
- sesame seeds
- cereals containing gluten (namely wheat (such as spelt, Khorasan wheat/Kamut), rye, barley, oats, or their hybridised strains).
- celery and celeriac
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentration of more than ten parts per million)
Below is a list of dairy ingredients names used on food labeling which will be relevant if you live outside of the UK and Europe.
Definitely Dairy Ingredients
- Acidophilus Milk
- Ammonium Caseinate
- Butter Fat
- Butter Oil
- Butter Solids
- Buttermilk Powder
- Calcium Caseinate
- Caseinate (in general)
- Cheese (All animal-based)
- Condensed Milk
- Cottage Cheese
- Delactosed Whey
- Demineralized Whey
- Dry Milk Powder
- Dry Milk Solids
- Evaporated Milk
- Goat Cheese
- Goat Milk
- Half & Half
- Hydrolyzed Casein
- Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
- Iron Caseinate
- Low-Fat Milk
- Magnesium Caseinate
- Malted Milk
- Milk Derivative
- Milk Fat
- Milk Powder
- Milk Protein
- Milk Solids
- Natural Butter Flavor
- Nonfat Milk
- Potassium Caseinate
- Rennet Casein
- Sheep Milk
- Sheep Milk Cheese
- Skim Milk
- Sodium Caseinate
- Sour Cream
- Sour Milk Solids
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Sweet Whey
- Whey Powder
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate
- Whipped Cream
- Whipped Topping
- Whole Milk
- Zinc Caseinate
Potentially Dairy Ingredients
- Artificial or Natural Flavors/Flavoring – These are vague ingredients, which may be derived from a dairy source. A few of particular concern are butter, coconut cream, and egg flavors.
- Fat Replacers – Brands such as Dairy-Lo® and Simplesse® are made with milk protein.
- Galactose – This is often a lactose byproduct, but it can also be derived from sugar beets and other gums.
- High Protein or Protein – Ingredients noted with no further details may be derived from milk proteins (casein or whey). This is particularly true in “High Energy” foods.
- Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein – The processing phase may use casein, but only trace amounts would likely remain.
- Lactic Acid Starter Culture – These cultures may be prepared by using milk as an initial growth medium.
- Lactobacillus – This term is noted often as a probiotic. It is in fact bacteria, not a food byproduct, and is named as such for its ability to convert lactose and other simple sugars to lactic acid. Though often utilized in milk products to create lactic acid, on its own, this ingredient is not always a concern. However, in some cases it may have been cultured or produced on dairy, and thus have the potential to contain trace amounts.
- Margarine – Milk proteins are in most brands, though not all.
- Prebiotics – A newcomer on the digestive health scene, these are indigestible carbohydrates. They are quite different from probiotics, which are living microorganisms. Prebiotics, such as galacto-oligosaccharides, lactosucrose, lactulose and lactitol may be derived from milk-based foods.
Rarely Dairy Ingredients
- Calcium or Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – Stearoyl lactylates are derived from the combination of lactic acid (See any potential concerns with lactic acid below) and stearic acid. They are generally considered non-dairy and safe for the lactose intolerant and milk allergic (again, see below). However, the stearic acid may be animal derived, which could be a concern for vegans.
- Calcium, Sodium, or Potassium Lactate – Lactates are salts derived from the neutralization of lactic acid, and are rarely a dairy concern. For example, it was noted that the lactate found in one brand of orange juice was made from sugar cane.
- Caramel Color – Anything with caramel in its title may sound like a dairy red flag, but caramel color is typically derived from corn syrup and occasionally from potatoes, wheat, or other carbohydrate sources. While lactose is a permitted carbohydrate in the production of caramel color, it is rarely, if ever used.
- Lactic Acid – Lactic acid is created via the fermentation of sugars, and can be found in many dairy-free and/or vegan foods. Most commercially used lactic acid is fermented from carbohydrates, such as cornstarch, potatoes or molasses, and thus dairy-free. Though lactic acid can be fermented from lactose, its use is generally (I said generally; where concerned, always check with the manufacturer) restricted to dairy products, such as ice cream and cream cheese.
Surprisingly Dairy-Free Ingredients
- Calcium Propionate
- Calcium Carbonate
- Calcium Citrate
- Calcium Phosphate
- Cocoa Butter
- Cocoa Powder
- Coconut Butter
- Coconut Cream
- Cream of Coconut
- Cream of Tartar
- Creamed Honey
- Fruit Butter (Apple, Pumpkin, etc)
- Glucono Delta-Lactone
- Lecithin Oleoresin
- Malted Barley or other Grain-Based Malts
- Malt Liquor
- Malt Vinegar
- Milk Thistle
- Nut Butters (Peanut, Almond, etc.)
- Shea Butter
The above list is taken from a book I brought ‘Go Dairy Free‘ it’s a great book with lots of information on milk allergies, lactose intolerance and recipes. I brought it when my son was around six months old (he’s now 19 months) and I have found it very useful and informative. You can see the original post online here or buy the book.
Recently I have received a lot of questions about cow’s milk protein allergy symptoms on our Facebook page and I think it would be great if we can share our questions and support each other on this journey. I have created a support group on Facebook so that we all have somewhere we can discuss and support each other in regards to living with cow’s milk protein allergy. Please take the time to read the group description. It is a closed group so, only members can see and reply to posts.
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You should always check with the manufacturer before consuming any food products as ingredients change and foods labeled as a may contain allergens are always a risk.