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Scientific Psychic
2008-11-12
 

Watered down milk in the dairy section

watered down milk watered down milk ingredients

Last weekend I visited a friend who had unwittingly bought a carton of what he thought was 2% Reduced Fat Milk. When I poured some of the product on my cereal, I noticed that the liquid did not have the smooth texture of milk. It appeared to have small lumps like milk that is starting to curdle from spoilage. Since he had just bought it, I looked at the label more closely. It was not milk. It was a "dairy beverage".

The first ingredient in the Ingredient List of the label was water, followed by ultrafiltered fat free milk, cream, inorganic calcium and phosphorus salts, and emulsifiers (mono- and diglycerides), thickeners (carrageenan, locust bean gum), and artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium). Food labels are required to list the ingredients in decreasing order of concentration. Since water is listed before the fat free milk, this means that the product contains more water than milk.

What scared me about this product was that the label said that a one-cup serving had 8 grams of protein -- the same as skim milk. If the product is half water and half skim milk, I would expect it to have half the protein. Where is the extra protein coming from? The ingredient list did not say. This made me think about the recent scandal in China where watered down milk was adulterated with melamine to fool the standard tests for protein.

The discrepancy between the ingredient list and the nutrition facts indicates that something is wrong with this product. Unfortunately, the FDA does not have enough resources to track down all labeling violations.
Learn about nutrition labels and Fake Foods



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