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Decisions: Milk and Dairy Products

Lactose-Free Ice Cream

Question: Is the common name "Lactose Free Ice Cream" acceptable for a product that meets the standard for ice cream, except that lactase had been added directly to the ice cream mix, and the final product is found to be lactose free? Lactase is declared in the list of ingredients.

Division 16, table V(L.1)(2) provides for the addition of lactase at good manufacturing practices to milk destined for use in ice cream mix. There is no provision for the addition of lactase in the FDR standard for ice cream mix, B.08.061, or the standard for ice cream, B.08.062.

Answer:  Section 4.2.2 of the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising regarding the modified common name of a standardized food policy would normally apply. However, since the end product is the same, whether the lactase is added to the milk or to the ice cream mix, the common name is "ice cream". "Lactose free ice cream" is also acceptable and, in the case of the ice cream mix with added lactase, "ice cream with lactase" would also be acceptable. In order for the 'lactose free claim to be made, lactose must be non-detectable in the product.

For more information regarding "lactose free" and "reduced in lactose" claims, see the Question and Answers page. (updated : 2006)


Question: When MicroGARD is added as an ingredient to a food, what common name is acceptable to describe it in the list of ingredients?

Answer: When MicroGARD is added as an ingredient to a food, the common name "cultured skim milk", "fermented skim milk", "cultured dextrose" or "fermented dextrose", as applicable, is required to be declared in the list of ingredients on the final food. All components must be shown, as well. The word "product" may also form part of the common name in the list of ingredients but it is not required, e.g., "cultured skim milk product". MicroGARD is not a food additive.

MicroGARD is an ingredient produced by the fermentation of either dextrose or skim milk with a standard dairy culture. Cultured dextrose and cultured skim milk are mixtures of propionic, butyric and lactic acids and peptides which act as shelf extenders or preservatives, e.g., to prevent spoilage in salad dressing. Because of this, it is not acceptable to claim that the final food does not contain preservatives or is not preserved.

Cultured skim milk should NOT be included in the group name "modified milk ingredients" provided for by section B.01.010(3)(b), Items 7.1 and 7.2. This is consistent with a previous ruling for cultured whey. In addition, because these products are obtained via the process of bioengineering, both cultured dextrose and cultured skim milk are currently being treated as novel food ingredients. (17/Jul/92; 31/Jan/94; 26/May/94; 29/Apr/94)

Milk - Type of Milk Referred to in the Regulations

Question: Can the term "milk" be used generically to describe all types of fluid milk, e.g., whole, skim, partly skimmed, etc., in all labelling situations?

Answer: No, the term "milk" cannot be used generically to describe all types of fluid milk in all labelling situations.

In general, for labelling purposes, the term "milk" is a reference only to "milk" as standardized under B.08.003. Only the prescribed common names as shown in bold face type in Division 8 of the Food and Drug Regulations, are permitted as the common names for use on the principal display panel.

In the list of ingredients, either the prescribed common names from Division 8 must be used or the term "milk ingredients" may be used as per section B.01.010(3)(b), Item 7.

The directions for use or any other similar references found on labels or in advertisements must state the exact type of milk which is to be used (e.g. partly skimmed).

Reference to the term "milk" is considered to mean milk in the generic sense when Regulations refer to formulations designed for mixing with milk, e.g., under D.03.002 of the Food and Drug Regulations. These formulations may be mixed with any "milk" (e.g., skim milk, partly skimmed milk, whole milk, either reconstituted or fresh, etc.). (21/May/93)

"Non Dairy" or "Dairy-free" claims

Question: Can the claim "non dairy" or "dairy-free" be used for products containing milk derivatives such as caseins, or sodium caseinate?

Answer: No, the claim "non dairy" or "dairy-free" can not be used for products containing milk derivatives.

The word "dairy" when used as an adjective generally means "made from milk". Caseins and sodium caseinate are milk derivatives. It is misleading to claim a product is "non dairy" or "dairy-free" when it contains a milk ingredient or derivative or made from these ingredients. The following are some examples of milk ingredients and derivatives:

butter, butter oil, milk fat
caseinate (ammonium/calcium/magnesium/potassium/sodium)
casein/rennet casein
hydrolyzed casein, hydrolyzed milk protein
cheese, cheese curds
lactalbumin/lactalbumin phosphate
lactate (when made from milk ingredients)
milk, skimmed milk, partially skimmed milk, cream, buttermilk
sour cream, sour milk solids
whey, whey butter, whey cream , whey protein concentrate
delactosed/demineralized whey
Simplesse® (whey protein concentrate-microparticulated fat replacers)

When a claim is made that a product is "free" from a substance or that it is not present in a food, the substance must not be added directly or indirectly as an ingredient component to a food.

The substance must not be detectable in the food using acceptable methodology. For more details, see section 4.3 of CFIA's Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising. (06/Sept/06)