Traditional recipes

When Is "Milk" Not Milk? The FDA Will Soon Decide

When Is

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA is considering limiting plant-based dairy alternatives from being branded as "milk."

UPDATE, Feb 25, 2019: Whether nut-based drinks will be able to continue labeling their products "milk" is an open question, and the FDA has been soliciting comments from the public, and from a wide variety of stakeholders.

The National Milk Producers Federation filed a citizens' petition with the FDA on Thursday, proposing that non-dairy options with different nutritional profiles than dairy products should be labeled "imitations," while those with similar nutritional profiles should be labeled as either a "substitute" or "alternative." In the petition they called this "a practical solution to the dairy-labeling problem."

Stay up to date on what healthy means now.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and delicious, healthy recipes.

The NMPF filed the petition even as some stakeholders and courts of law have challenged their argument, saying most consumers wouldn't expect a dairy alternative to have the exact same nutritional profile as its dairy counterpart. Producers of plant-based alternatives say there isn't a problem here to begin with, and voluntary standards are already in place. However, the federation noted there will be negative health implications for Americans if dairy milk is replaced with differing alternatives— saying the fortification of dairy foods with Vitamin D has, for instance, eliminated the presence of rickets in the US.

This proposal would have a few exceptions, however. Plant-based alternatives that do not replace or substitute for a dairy product as well as products that do not reference the fact they are a dairy substitute (i.e. oat beverage instead of oat milk) would be excluded from the labeling.

The NMPF believes this is more than an issue of ingredients and nutrition, but also a legal one, as dairy producers do have existing labeling regulations already in place and believe those trying to take their shelf space should as well, according to Food Navigator. The petition's Statement of Grounds argues these requests of the FDA are "justified on statutory, regulatory and First Amendment grounds, and advance FDA’s consumer protection and public health policy objectives."

Brierley Horton MS RD, was surprised to find consumer confusion over deciphering between the health benefits of dairy and plant-based milks was a potential issue. Horton said regardless if labels change or not, it is the health care provider's responsibility to educate consumers on the nutritional discrepancies between dairy and non-dairy alternatives. For those opting for plant-based varieties, she advises looking for fortified options to ensure consumers are getting the full spectrum of nutrients they need each day.

After initial requests made by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, and her proposed Dairy Pride Act, the Food and Drug Administration began considering prohibiting plant-based drinks from being labeled as "milk" in supermarkets and grocery stores. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA's commissioner, discussed the possibility of enforcing pre-established federal code on what constitutes a "milk" product at the POLITICO Pro Summit in Washington, D.C., last summer.

"You see the proliferation of products like soy milk and almond milk calling themselves milk, but if you look at our standard of identity, there is a reference somewhere in the standard of identity to a lactating animal, and you know an almond doesn't lactate, I will confess," Gottlieb said at the event. "And so the question becomes, have we been enforcing our own standard of identity? The answer is probably not."

But the process of getting an entire industry to stop labeling products like almond milk as "milk" isn't so cut and dry. Gottlieb says that the FDA has a lot of steps to take in order to change standards of identity, and that this change could take up to a year.

More on plant-based, alternative milks:

While current federal definitions of milk are limited to substance produced after "milking of one or more healthy cows," the FDA has rarely asked plant-based milk manufacturers to stop using the word "milk" in branding in the past. In 2008, the federal agency sent out this warning letter to a soy milk producer asking the brand to change the product's name due to legal definitions.

It's unclear if Senator Baldwin's proposal prompted Gottlieb and the FDA to consider such a sweeping change, but we'll have to wait and see if her proposed legislation, along wit actually passes into law. The FDA will soon issue a new guidance document with the new, changed rules of marketing milk, Gottlieb said.

The original article, published April 26, 2018, continues below:

---

Could dairy-free milk products soon be prohibited from marketing themselves as milks? During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing this week, a senator from Wisconsin asked the Food and Drug Administration to consider asking manufacturers to re-identify dairy-free alternatives for consumers.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, recently introduced a bill known as the "Dairy Pride Act" that would effectively prohibit what we're going to awkwardly call plant-based non-dairy beverage products from being labeled as "milk."

It turns out that the federal definition of the word "milk" is limited to this less than appetizing definition: "The lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows."

The senator's bill argues that, given the definition, plant-based milks should "be considered 'misbranded' and subject to enforcement." When pressed by Senator Baldwin, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb admitted that he had "actively stepped into this issue," according to Food Navigator.

He also said that the agency is collecting information and data on whether or not consumers are led to believe that plant-based milks are nutritionally equal substitutions for traditional dairy products—which has been debated in courts of law several times against producers like Blue Diamond.

But shoppers can all agree that it'd be hard to find any grocery store today that isn't selling at least one plant-based non-dairy beverage product that's labeled with the term "milk." You might wonder if the FDA ever stepped in before to ask producers to change the name of their product?

"Therefore, we do not consider 'soy milk' to be an appropriate common or usual name because it does not contain 'milk,'" the letter reads. "We do consider 'soy drink' or 'soy beverage,' however, as acceptable common or usual names for such products."

Could we all soon be pouring "cashew drink" into our cereal bowls rather than what we've all grown to know (and love) as cashew milk? If one thing is clear about the senator and commissioner's exchange on the Senate floor this week, it's that milk is legally defined—and plant-based dairy products do not meet that definition.

We're not too worried about any drastic changes soon, however: Gottlieb admitted that it would be a huge undertaking for the FDA to tackle such a widespread and established product in 2018. The FDA is currently collecting information and data before making any firm decisions in response to Senator Baldwin's request, and given the agency's history in efficiency, we're guessing that it might take a little while.


The FDA is confused about the definition of ‘milk,’ so we talked to a dictionary expert

Grist / CSA Images / Archive / Drew Angerer / Getty Images

As a young kiddo, you probably looked up from the book you were reading to ask some version of the following question: “Mommy, what does ‘obnoxious’ mean?”

More likely than not, a lazy adult advised you to look it up in the dictionary. That advice, while annoying, was instructive.

Perhaps the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should take a page from the dictionary, too. The agency has expressed some confusion over the word “milk,” and whether plant-based beverages like almond milk should be labeled as such.

“You know, an almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess,” FDA’s commissioner Scott Gottlieb said at a policy summit earlier this month.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The dairy industry has been begging the agency to address this topic of concern for nearly 20 years in the hopes of getting “milk” banished from the labels of non-dairy, climate-friendlier alternatives like soy, almond, coconut, and oat milk.

Big Lactose’s dreams might finally come true. The FDA released an official statement Thursday saying it was reviewing the question of what’s milk, and what’s not.

“All the lexicographers I know groaned and said, ‘Oh boy, here we go,” says Kory Stamper, lexicographer and author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.

“The FDA can decide whatever they want, but in terms of common usage, that use of [plant] milk is not going anywhere,” Stamper tells me. “It’s 600 years old.”

That’s right — almond milk actually dates back to the 1400s, according to Stamper.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Milk generally refers to the “fluid secreted by the mammary glands of females for the nourishment of their young,” as Merriam-Webster dictates, as well as milk from an animal “used as food by people.” The next definition, however, says that milk is also “a food product produced from seeds or fruit that resembles and is used similarly to cow’s milk,” as well as “a liquid resembling milk in appearance.”

Earlier this year, France decided to ban vegan foods from borrowing terminology from animal products (that means no more soy milk or vegan bacon). The justification? That consumers might confuse soy milk with dairy milk, for instance. There doesn’t seem to be much real confusion about whether plant-based milks are really milk milk, Stamper tells me.

The FDA seems to be taking a different tack than the French. Echoing the dairy industry, the agency’s statement suggests that when people hear “almond milk,” they might somehow think that it’s nutritionally equivalent to dairy milk. The nutritional comparison is another question in itself .

And the same discussion may soon turn to “meat.” As the debate heats up over what to call cell-cultured meat and meat alternatives, know this: While meat has referred to animal flesh since the 1300s, it was used for the flesh of a fruit or a nut (like the meat of a walnut) just a century later, Stamper tells me.

“It gets tricky when you start dealing with these general vocabulary terms that are really foundational,” Stamper says. “We think they have one clear meaning, but if you look at the history, their meanings are just not that clear. Their use goes back way further than we think.”

Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, knows he’s up against a challenge. If the FDA decides to take the milk out of almond milk, it could end up embroiled in a legal battle over commercial free speech rights.

“If you open our Standards of Identity, it talks about a lactating animal,” Gottlieb said at the policy summit, “but you open up a dictionary, it talks about milk coming from a lactating animal or a nut.”

The dairy industry’s hope seems to be that if these increasingly popular plant-based milks can no longer be billed as milk, their sales might dip. Whatever ends up on the label, at least one person is likely to keep buying almond milk anyway.

“I’m lactose intolerant, so I can’t drink dairy,” Stamper says. “I mostly drink nut milks.”

And she’ll probably keep calling it almond milk, just like the rest of us: “Trying to change general usage once it’s well established is pretty impossible, so good luck with that.”


What does the date on the milk carton mean?

We often refer to the date on milk (or any other food product) as the “expiration date,” but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact it’s usually not!

The meaning of the date on the milk jug or carton depends on the state you live in. Dates on food packages (aside from baby formula) aren’t regulated or required by the federal government at all. Dates on food packages are voluntarily put there by the manufacturers, though dates on dairy are regulated in nearly half of the states.

In some states, the date is a “sell by” date (a date that gives consumers about a week to use it), in others it is a “best by” date (a date that tells consumers when the peak flavor is reached, still good for another 5-7 days) and in yet others it is a “use by” date (which sounds the most like “expiration”). What’s worse is that the definition of each of these terms varies, which further confuses and concerns consumers.


504 Plans for the School Lunch Program

Severe food allergies are now classified as a disability under the American Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that kids with a severe milk allergy might qualify for a 504 Plan. A 504 Plan is a written management plan that outlines how the school will address the individual needs of your child. This can include making accommodations in the School Lunch Program if the child participates in it.

According to the USDA, who facilitates the School Lunch Program, “when in the licensed physician’s assessment, food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child’s condition would meet the definition of ‘disability’.”

To set up a 504 Plan, the allergic child’s parent or guardian must contact their school’s 504 Coordinator. A team will then be assembled to determine if your child qualifies for protection under Section 504. Medical information, such as a diagnosis, will be required, so you won’t be getting out of the “doctor’s note” here. That said, a 504 Plan can be set up before the school year begins.


Ten Minutes of Exercise A Day Improves Memory

A new study suggests that just 10 minutes of physical activity boosts cognitive function, helping the brain to distinguish between similar memories. 4

Scientists in Japan conducted the study, which concluded that light exercise increased connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage. The activities were mild, comparable to walking, yoga, and tai chi.

Relevant Excerpt:

“The scientists asked 36 healthy volunteers in their early 20s to do 10 minutes of light exercise – at 30% of their peak oxygen intake – before assessing their memory ability. The memory test was then repeated on the same volunteers without exercising.

The same experiment was repeated on 16 of the volunteers who had either undertaken the same kind of exercise or rested, with researchers scanning their brain to monitor activity. In the brains of those who had exercised they discovered enhanced communication between the hippocampus – a region important in memory storage – and the cortical brain regions, which are involved in vivid recollection of memories.

The people who had exercised were better at separating or distinguishing between the different memories.” 5

The authors are currently conducting similar studies on older adults over more extended periods. We’ll keep an eye on the results, but this shorter study on younger people indicates the cognitive benefits of a small amount of exercise.

The team of researchers who conducted the study found the results so compelling that they changed their daily habits in the lab to include regular 10-minute breaks for physical activity.

That’s a great example to follow if your daily routine is fairly sedentary- go on a short walk every couple of hours to refresh your body and mind. Walking is a great form weight-bearing exercise that you can use to build bone. But even on a rainy day, there are plenty of indoor exercises you can use to activate your body’s bone-building process. Thanks to this research, we know you’ll be improving your memory too.

Engaging in 10 minutes of light exercise such as yoga, walking, and tai chi improves the brain’s ability to separate and distinguish between similar memories.


Raw Milk Benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, vehemently denies raw-milk fans' claim that pasteurization destroys the nutrients milk contains. However, around 20 percent of the milk's vitamin C content and 10 percent of its vitamin B1 is lost during pasteurization, according to the Encyclopedia of Science. Pasteurization might also destroy enzymes and "good" bacteria that aid in digestion and that help people who suffer from chronic intestinal illnesses such as Crohn's disease, raw-milk proponents say.


Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at FDA’s ‘Crackdown’ on Vegan Milk Labeling

In the labeling war against vegan dairy alternatives, Stephen Colbert has swooped in to add some much needed comic relief. In a “The Late Show” segment last night, he unleashed his famous sarcasm against the issue, mocking certain members of the FDA who have made it their mission to ban the use of milk as a label for all non-dairy products.

During the show’s opening monologue, Colbert addressed the hot-button issue of what we should officially call plant-based milk (if the word milk can even be used at all). He specifically referred to last week’s Politico Pro Summit where FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated that his agency was going to enforce stricter laws in regards to dairy alternative labels. Gottlieb did not hold back his firm opinion against non-dairy products, stating that true milk must come from “a lactating animal,” and jokingly pointing out that “an almond doesn’t lactate.”

Colbert had a few jokes of his own, pulling out a t-shirt inspired by Gottlieb’s comment. The white tee pictured a cartoon almond with “an almond doesn’t lactate” written across the chest. Colbert explained the situation to the crowd, “If it ain’t from a mammal, you can’t call it milk. It has to be soy juice and almond sweat.”

“Even the movie ‘Milk’ has to be ‘Inspiring Non-Dairy Sean Penn Products,’” Colbert continued to jibe.

Colbert went on to address the plummeting dairy industry. With dairy sales in continuous decline and American dairy farms shutting down at an alarming rate, Colbert teased that the “Got Milk?” campaign will soon have to change its slogan to “We’ve got way too much milk! Please buy more milk! It’s good for your hair, maybe. ”

Given the falling dairy market, the word “milk” as the FDA defines it may be a term of the past. Until then, however, Gottlieb is determined to crack down on enforcing strict labeling laws against non-dairy milk products. He stated that the process will take a year, and longer if plant milk companies decide to sue, which, he admitted, they have a right to.

It is true that “soy juice and almond sweat” may not have taken off, but given the current dairy alternative movement, it’s unlikely that the sales of these products will decline, even if companies are forced to call them by a different name. If nutritional yeast can make it in the mainstream, oat juice definitely has a chance.


Questions & Answers for Consumers Concerning Infant Formula

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) defines infant formula as "a food which purports to be or is represented for special dietary use solely as a food for infants by reason of its simulation of human milk or its suitability as a complete or partial substitute for human milk" (FFDCA 201(z)). FDA regulations define infants as persons not more than 12 months old (Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations 21 CFR 105.3(e)). Source: Excerpted from Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula March 1, 2006.

How does FDA regulate Infant Formulas?

Because infant formula is a food, the laws and regulations governing foods apply to infant formula. Additional statutory and regulatory requirements apply to infant formula, which is often used as the sole source of nutrition by a vulnerable population during a critical period of growth and development. These additional requirements are found in section 412 of the FFDCA and FDA's implementing regulations in 21 CFR 106 and 107. To view the FFDCA and regulations in 21 CFR, see FDA Federal Register Documents, Code of Federal Regulations & Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Source: Excerpted from Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula March 1, 2006.

Does FDA have nutrient specifications for infant formulas?

Yes, FDA has requirements for nutrients in infant formulas, which are located in section 412(i) of the FFDCA and 21 CFR 107.100. These nutrient specifications include minimum amounts for 29 nutrients and maximum amounts for 9 of those nutrients. If an infant formula does not contain these nutrients at or above the minimum level or within the specified range, it is an adulterated product unless the formula is "exempt" from certain nutrient requirements. An "exempt infant formula" is "any infant formula which is represented and labeled for use by an infant who has an inborn error of metabolism or low birth weight, or who otherwise has an unusual medical or dietary problem" (FFDCA 412(h)(1). Source: Excerpted from Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula March 1, 2006.

Does FDA approve infant formulas before they are marketed?

No, FDA does not approve infant formulas before they can be marketed. However, all formulas marketed in the United States must meet federal nutrient requirements and infant formula manufacturers must notify the FDA prior to marketing a new formula. If an infant formula manufacturer does not provide the elements and assurances required in the notification for a new or reformulated infant formula, the formula is defined as adulterated under Section 412(a)(1) of the FFDCA and FDA has the authority to take compliance action if the new infant formula is marketed. Source: Excerpted from Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula March 1, 2006.

How do parents know what formula to feed to their infant?

A wide selection of different types of infant formulas is available on the market. Parents should ask their infant's health care provider if they have questions about selecting a formula for their infant. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

Do infants fed infant formulas need to take additional vitamins and minerals?

Infants fed infant formulas do not need additional nutrients unless a low-iron formula is fed. If infants are fed a low-iron formula, a health care professional may recommend a supplemental source of iron, particularly after 4 months of age. FDA's nutrient specifications for infant formulas are set at levels to meet the nutritional needs of infants. In addition, manufacturers set nutrient levels for their label claims that are generally above the FDA minimum specifications and they add nutrients at levels that will ensure that their formulas meet their label claims over the entire shelf-life of the product. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

Do "house brand" or generic infant formulas differ nutritionally from name brand formulas?

All infant formulas marketed in the United States must meet the nutrient specifications listed in FDA regulations. Infant formula manufacturers may have their own proprietary formulations but they must contain at least the minimum levels of all nutrients specified in FDA regulations without going over the maximum levels, when maximum levels are specified. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

Some ingredient statements on infant formula labels include ingredients in addition to nutrients and familiar components such as milk. Why are those ingredients added?

Ready-to-feed and concentrated liquid formulas often contain ingredients such as lecithin, carrageenan, and mono- and diglycerides added to ensure that the formula doesn't separate during shelf-life. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

What does the "use by" date mean on infant formula product labels?

The "use by" date on infant formulas is a date, selected by the manufacturer based on tests and other information, to inform retailers and consumers about the quality of the infant formula. Until that declared date, the infant formula will contain no less than the amount of each nutrient declared on the product label and will otherwise be of acceptable quality. The "use by" date is required by FDA regulations on each container of infant formula. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

What are counterfeit infant formulas? How can I avoid buying such products?

Counterfeit infant formulas are infant formula products that have been diverted from normal distribution channels and relabeled. Diverted products may be relabeled with counterfeit labels to misrepresent the quality or identity of a formula. For example, if an infant formula is past the "use by" date, a counterfeit label may bear a false "use by" date to obscure the fact that the product may no longer contain the amounts of nutrients listed on the label and may otherwise not be of acceptable quality. As a second example, an infant formula may be relabeled to disguise the true content of the product. Infants who are intolerant to certain ingredients and are fed such a counterfeit formula could experience serious adverse health consequences. To protect infants, parents or other caregivers should always look for any changes in formula color, smell, or taste. Parents should make sure the lot numbers and "use by" dates on the containers and boxes are the same (if buying by the case), check containers for damage, and call the manufacturer's toll-free number with any concerns or questions. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

I have seen bottled water marked for use in preparing infant formula. What does this mean?

The manufacturers of infant formula provide directions for mixing their products with water and usually do not specify the source of water other than to indicate that the water should be safe to drink. In most situations, it is safe to mix formula using ordinary cold tap water that is brought to a boil and boiled for one minute or as directed on the label of the infant formula. Some water companies wish to make available bottled waters which are marketed for infants and for use in mixing with infant formula. When manufacturers label their water as intended for infants, the water must meet the same standards established for tap water by the Environmental Protection Agency. The label must also indicate that the bottled water is not sterile. As with tap water, consumers should boil bottled water one minute before mixing with infant formula. Water that is sterilized by the manufacturer and intended for use with infants must meet certain strict FDA standards. Source: Excerpted from Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula March 1, 2006.

Are there approved recipes for homemade infant formulas?

FDA regulates commercially available infant formulas, which are marketed in liquid and powder forms, but does not regulate recipes for homemade formulas. Great care must be given to the decision to make infant formulas at home, and safety should be of prime concern. The potential problems associated with errors in selecting and combining the ingredients for the formula are very serious and range from severe nutritional imbalances to unsafe products that can harm infants. Because of these potentially very serious health concerns, FDA does not recommend that consumers make infant formulas at home. Source: Excerpted from Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula March 1, 2006.

I see formulas on the market that contain ingredients called DHA and ARA. What are these substances?

DHA is docosahexaenoic acid and ARA is arachidonic acid. Both are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. The body can make DHA and ARA from certain other dietary fatty acids, which are found in plant oils and other sources however, DHA and ARA are also consumed directly in the diet. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

What foods contain the fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid)?

DHA is contained in varying amounts in fish oils, with oils from cold-water fish containing higher amounts. DHA and ARA are also found in some algae and fungi, eggs, and in human breast milk. Some manufacturers make dietary supplements containing DHA and ARA. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

Why is there interest in adding DHA and ARA to infant formulas?

While infants can make these fatty acids from other ("essential") fatty acids in their diet, including the fatty acids in infant formulas, some studies suggest that some infants, such as premature infants, may benefit from direct consumption. Other studies suggest no benefit. It is known that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (DHA in particular) accumulate in brain and eye of the fetus, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. These fatty acids are also found in the fat of human breast milk. Blood levels of DHA and ARA are typically higher in breast-fed infants than in infants fed formulas not containing these fatty acids. For these reasons, some infant formula manufacturers and consumers are interested in providing DHA and ARA directly to infants. These manufacturers and consumers argue that adding oils containing these fatty acids to the fats and oils already in infant formula will provide an infant with both pre-formed DHA and ARA and the essential fatty acids an infant needs to make its own DHA and ARA. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

What is the evidence that addition of DHA and ARA to infant formulas is beneficial?

The scientific evidence is mixed. Some studies in infants suggest that including these fatty acids in infant formulas may have positive effects on visual function and neural development over the short term. Other studies in infants do not confirm these benefits. There are no currently available published reports from clinical studies that address whether any long-term beneficial effects exist. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

I understand that oils containing DHA and ARA have been added to infant formulas for several years in other countries. Isn't there information from those countries on any long-term benefits or adverse consequences of formulas containing these fatty acids?

Systematic monitoring efforts are not in place to collect and analyze information on effects of infant formulas containing DHA and ARA in countries where these formulas are in use. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

Why has FDA asked manufacturers to do postmarket surveillance of infants consuming formulas containing ARA or DHA?

These are new ingredients that were not used in infant formulas in this country before early 2002, and infant formulas containing ARASCO (ARA Single Cell Oil) and DHASCO (DHA Single Cell Oil) have been marketed in other countries for only a few years. FDA views any evaluation of the safety of use of new food ingredients such as DHASCO and ARASCO as a time-dependent judgment that is based on general scientific knowledge as well as specific data and information about the ingredient. Therefore, scientific data that become available after specific products containing a new ingredient enter the market must be considered as a part of the totality of information about the ingredient. Pre-market clinical studies evaluating the effects of infant formulas containing DHASCO and ARASCO on physical growth and some aspects of development are short-term studies, while some studies suggest that feeding of infant formulas with oils containing DHA and ARA to infants may have long-term effects on growth and development. For all these reasons, manufacturers have been asked to closely monitor these new infant formulas in the marketplace Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.

How do I report a problem or illness caused by an infant formula?

If a consumer has a general complaint or concern about a food product including an infant formula, FDA is the appropriate agency to contact. These problems, complaints, or injuries can be reported in writing or by telephone, or by the Internet at Report a Problem.

If you think your infant has suffered a serious harmful effect or illness from an infant formula, your health care provider can report this by calling FDA's MedWatch hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088 or by using Reporting by Health Professionals. The MedWatch program allows health care providers to report problems possibly caused by FDA-regulated products such as drugs, medical devices, medical foods, dietary supplements, and infant formulas. The identity of the patient is kept confidential. In addition, health care providers should report infectious diseases in infants associated with use of infant formula to CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion ( 1-800-893-0485 ).

Consumers may also report an illness, injury or other problem they believe to be related to the use of an infant formula by calling FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or using Reporting by Consumers. FDA would like to know when a product may have caused a problem even if you are unsure the product caused the problem or even if you and the baby do not visit a doctor or clinic.

Infant formula manufacturers provide toll-free telephone numbers on the labels of their products and should be notified about problems, complaints, or injuries caused by their products. Source: FDA/CFSAN Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements July 2002.


Is Non-Refrigerated and Shelf-Stable Milk Bad for You?

Ever looked at the non-refrigerated milk in the grocery store and thought huh? Here's the deal with shelf-stable milk.

The heat is on when it comes to non-refrigerated milk. Truly: That’s how it’s pasteurized and made shelf-stable.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, pasteurization is a process that applies heat to destroy pathogens in foods (similarly to the way white blood cells destroy pathogens like bacteria and viruses in your body). For refrigerated dairy products, high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization involves heating every particle of milk or milk product to at least 161ଏ using metal plates and hot water. The milk remains at high heat for at least 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling. It then has a shelf life of five to 15 days.

Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurization, also known as aseptic processing, involves heating milk using sterile equipment and filling it under "aseptic conditions." Voilà! Once you swim through all that jargon, you&aposre presented with shelf-stable milk that will help you survive should we ever find ourselves invaded by aliens or stuck on a desert island and forbidden from going to Whole Foods. (Related: Exactly Why Chocolate Milk Has Been Called “The Best Post-Workout Drink”)

Back to the whole "aseptic" thing. All aseptic operations are required to file their processes with the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, there is no set time or temperature for aseptic processing. The FDA&aposs "Process Authority" establishes and validates the proper time and temperature based on the equipment used and the product being processed. Basically, this non-refrigerated milk is watched more closely than any child you ever babysat. (BTW, have you heard about peanut milk?)

"Dairy products that have been heat-sterilized and wrapped in sterile packaging do not require refrigeration as the sterilization prevents the milk from spoiling," says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., C.D.N., founder of NY Nutrition Group.

What about dairy-free non-refrigerated milks?

Nondairy milk products are processed the same way. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze processes its refrigerated almond milk products using standard dairy processing (HTST) and produces their shelf-stable milk products using UHT processing. The shelf-stable stuff comes in aseptic carton packaging that, according to Blue Diamond, is "designed for shelf stability of the unopened product for an extended period." Silk says the same of their soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk. Still, all brands suggest refrigerating shelf-stable milk before drinking it. And always refrigerate shelf-stable dairy and plant-based milks after opening the package. (Stock up, then try these delicious dairy-free nut milk recipes.) 

Is non-refrigerated milk less nutritious than the refrigerated milk?

Apparently, all is fair in love and non-refrigerated milk. "While heating [shelf-stable milk] to high temperatures through the sterilization process can deplete some nutrients, it doesn&apost affect key nutrients such as protein or calcium, and is usually fortified back with many nutrients that it may have lost, including vitamins A and D," says Moskovitz.

But wait𠅊ren&apost "fortified" products typically a no-no? "In this case, since the nutrients are just being added back, and not necessarily in excess of what the milk had to begin with, these fortified shelf-stable milks shouldn&apost pose any harm. All in all, both versions are nutritionally equivalent." 

Do non-refrigerated milks taste different?

While non-refrigerated milk flavor may vary slightly due to the heating process, Moskovitz claims that "when you finally open up the carton, it is room temperature versus cold, refrigerated milk." So have some patience and place your shelf-stable milk in the refrigerator for an hour or so before you drink it. (Related: What is a2 Milk𠅊nd Should You Be Drinking It?)

Now you can return to your office kitchen and snag yourself a nice cup of joe without wrinkling your nose at the "creepy" boxed non-refrigerated milk options in front of you. It&aposs only weird if you make it weird, guys.


Freezing Milk: How to Freeze Milk

Yes, milk can be frozen. Here’s a closer look at how to freeze milk and all what you need to know:

If you decide to freeze milk before the expiration date, you’ll want to put it in small containers first. Leave a little space at the top (about an inch or so) because the milk, like other liquids, will expand when it freezes.

You may notice the fat separates from the rest of the milk when you freeze it don’t worry about it – it’s completely normal. That’s because the protein and minerals are the first to thaw the water in the milk thaws later.

Once you’re ready to use the milk, let it thaw completely in the refrigerator. Milk fats can thaw separately than the water in milk, so if it’s not completely thawed, you may notice that it isn’t as smooth as usual – but a quick shake or stir can help. That said, it’s still safe to drink or use in recipes. While freezing suspends the spoilage process, it’s recommended that thawed milk be used as quickly as possible.

Some think that freezing milk changes its taste if you plan on freezing milk to drink later, you may want to try a small batch first to see how you like it. If you’re freezing it to use in recipes, consider freezing it in ice cube trays.


Watch the video: Θα πεινάσουν συνάδελφοι μου και τα παιδιά τους, έρχομαι με τα πόδια απο Λάρισα να διαμαρτυρηθώ (December 2021).