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ACTION: Make My Yogurt With Real Milk!

by: Jill Richardson

Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 14:27:46 PM PDT


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I hesitate to even use the word "yogurt" after this week's debacle with yogurt-making, but this is a rather urgent action alert. I got an email the other day with some news: the yogurt industry wants to put milk protein concentrate in yogurt (PDF) and the government's considering it. What's milk protein concentrate (MPC)? Well, it's NOT MILK. It's an imported substance that's basically whatever's left of milk after you filter anything useful or nutritious out of it. You can currently find it in really cheap cheese (check Kraft brand labels and you'll find it).

The National Yogurt Association petition being considered will:

...undermine yogurt as we know it by weakening minimum ingredient and labeling requirements in current FDA standards of
identity. The proposed amendment would allow processors to:
* Substitute imported Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) and other cheap, inferior (imported) dairy ingredients for the American farm milk and nonfat dry milk.

* Use milk and dairy ingredients that do not meet minimum federal Grade A standards - a scary thought following the Chinese melamine milk scandal.

* Include whey derivatives as allowable ingredients in yogurt.

* Disguise the presence of aspartame and other controversial artificial sweeteners by hiding their presence in the fine print of the ingredients label.

This is NOT GOOD. If this goes through, I might have to learn how to make yogurt. For a very thorough explanation of this issue, check out what The Ethicurean has to say on it.

Take Action: Go here to submit comments. If that doesn't work, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search on Docket FDA-2000-P-0126. You need to do this prior to March 31, 2009.

Jill Richardson :: ACTION: Make My Yogurt With Real Milk!
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It never ends, does it? (4.00 / 2)
Your link to comment works for me.  I'll get one in today.

Let's send those comments in!

From the Ethicurean article -

Milk protein concentrates are created when milk is ultra-filtered, a process that drains out the lactose and keeps the milk protein and other large molecules. The protein components are then dried and become a powder. That all sounds relatively benign - until we learn that those "other large molecules" can include bacteria and somatic cells; that virtually all MPCs come from other countries, most of them with very poor food safety records (China, India, Poland, the Ukraine); and that the milk used to make MPCs is usually not cows' milk. More often, it is from water buffalo, yaks, or other animals common to the countries where MPCs are manufactured.

[...]

Recall that the first step to making MPCs is the ultra-filtration of milk, which separates lactose from the protein, which is then dried. Lactose contributes most of milk's carbohydrates, so MPCs are extremely low in carbs. As dairy processors sought lower-carb ingredients for their Atkins-friendly inventions, they found that MPCs fit the bill - and saved money, too. So in yet another example of the insanity induced by diet marketing, U.S. consumers turned up their noses at natural dairy products in favor of parched, parsed protein from unregulated foreign mammals.

And for that matter, MPC's are already being used in food - but they haven't even been tested / approved under even FDA's current laughable standards (i.e. - if you don't turn green, develop boils or die immediately upon consumption, it's a go!) for approving ingredients for use in food?!

Honestly, what is it that these people have against real food?


my friend Mary (4.00 / 3)
makes really good home made yogurt with a glass jar,towels,a carrier and a thermometer.I can get her recipe.

I'm trying to make soy yogurt.I'll let you know how it turns out.


This is timely for me. (4.00 / 2)
Very timely, because I have a question about yogurt.

The ingredient list for Trader Joe's Greek Style nonfat plain yogurt says Grade A pasteurized skim milk, plus some bugs. That's all it says. It says just what you would expect.

The nutrition label says, per cup, 7 grams total carbohydrate, 22 grams of protein.

How is that possible? Does anyone have any idea how to begin with that ingredient list and arrive at that nutrition label? I have not been able to imagine a method, and I haven't been able to come up with a method by researching the question.

Oh, wait. Perhaps the producer could add MPC? But the ingredient list doesn't say that.

As Rachel would say, somebody please talk me down.

Mind you, I'm not accusing Trader Joe's or its supplier of anything nefarious. Not yet, anyway. I really need to write them and ask about this, which I have not done. Perhaps everything is fair and square.

By the way, I have looked at other brands of Greek Style Yogurt and Greek Yogurt. Some have the nutrition label you would expect from starting with a normal milk product, others have protein much higher than carbohydrate. Confusing.


currently, no (4.00 / 2)
you cannot add MPC and still call it yogurt. If you add MPC it's no longer, by definition, yogurt. If the FDA thing goes through, that would change.

Why the low carbs and high protein? Probably the bugs digested a lot of the lactose (a carb)?

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman


[ Parent ]
I considered the digestion angle (0.00 / 0)
but for all other yogurts the macronutrient content mirrors the composition of the starting milk product. How could nonfat Greek style be so different?

[ Parent ]
Ye gods... (0.00 / 0)
From the Milkweed pdf:

...although the current standards do not permit the use of certain ingredients such as preservatives or a reconstituted dairy ingredient as a basic ingredient, because of the stayed provisions, FDA has not taken enforcement action against the use of these ingredients in yogurt, lowfat yogurt, or nonfat yogurt."

Sigh.


[ Parent ]
nonfat milk solids... (0.00 / 0)
Looking at a container of America's Choice fat free yogurt - this is the house brand for A&P, SuperFresh, etc.:

Ingredients are pasteurized Grade A nonfat milk and nonfat milk solids.


[ Parent ]
but I LIKE yogurt ! (4.00 / 2)
Your link worked for me.  I sent a comment.  Thanks for bringing this attention out and providing the link !

Irony, thy name is FDA. (0.00 / 0)
Jill's highlighted quote about melamine is ironic precisely because the use of protein concentrate is what manufactured the melamine fraud in the first place.

The primary salient feature of current yogurt regulation is, it works. It's a success story. It is an all-too-rare success. Why "fix" something that isn't broken?

Non-NYA producers should change their packaging immediately. Containers should prominently display a "Grade A" banner, perhaps a standardized logo that they all could use.


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