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Limits of dairy content to allow us to make a dairy free claim?

#dairyfree #claim

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#1 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:26 AM

Hi all,

 

 

Any dairy industry personnel here? I badly needed your help. Do you know any regulations specifying the limit values of dairy content present on beverages to be considered "dairy Free"?

 

Example: For lactose...

 

  • lactose-free foods – lactose content less than 10 mg/100 g or 100 ml
  • low lactose foods – lactose content less than 1 g/100 g or 100 ml

 

How about for dairy free claim? Any thought guys?

 

I'm really freaking out, our product has "dairy free claim" on package label but we validated it through external laboratory and the result is almost 3% lactose content. WHICH IS WAY BEYOND WHAT WE EXPECTED.

 

I know that  the terms "dairy free" and "lactose free" actually convey two different ingredient situations. Because lactose is only one component of dairy, a product can be lactose free but still contain other dairy components, such as casein or whey. However, a product that is dairy free will by definition be lactose free, as well.

 

 

Best regards,

 

Lelou



#2 Gerard H.

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:48 AM

Dear Lelou,

 

The claim "Dairy free" for a product containing lactose is misleading. 

 

Unfortunately and as far as I know, there is no legal base to justify the product formulation in combination with the claim.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



#3 Scampi

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:59 PM

It would be helpful if we knew what country your selling in. Countries all have different regs



#4 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:15 PM

In USA there's no definition for Dairy-free, FARRP warns that it shouldn't be used to verify the presence/absence of milk proteins.

 

Can't be "misleading", therefore it depends on the consumer impression of your claim. "Dairy free" makes some sense when used to imply that no milk-derived ingredients were used in the formula where they would normally be found in competitor products (e.g. chocolate or protein powders), but I also would be uncomfortable using the claim in anything that would subsequently violate either a lactose or allergen declaration.

 

Even if you add clarifying language "product contains lactose or casein from non-dairy components", I wouldn't, pretty much inevitably guarantee that you will get that customer call eventually, it's much more worth avoiding the issue vs. some intangible marketing perk of the claim.

 

You may not necessarily need to recall the product here, but you should update your packaging and ditch the claim. Keep it handy as a lesson to perform all the necessary validation/verification testing for label claims before products go on the shelf.


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#5 Scampi

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:31 PM

From CFIA

 

Lactose-Free and Lactose Reduced Claims

Claims relating to the presence or absence of lactose in a product are not prohibited under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) [Section B.01.502(2)(d), FDA]. However, there are no criteria set out in the regulations for these statements. The CFIA uses the following guidelines for lactose claims:

  • Lactose- free means that there is no detectable lactose in the food using an acceptable analytical method.
  • Lactose reduced may be used to describe a product that has been reduced significantly in lactose. A significant reduction is considered to be a 25% reduction or more.

For more information on common names for lactose-free products please see: Common names for lactose-free dairy products.

Non-Dairy or Dairy-Free claims

The claim "non dairy" or "dairy-free" cannot be used for products containing milk derivatives such as caseins, or sodium caseinate.

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
  • lactoferrin
  • lactoglobulin
  • lactate (when made from milk ingredients)
  • lactitol
  • lactose
  • 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)
  • yogourt


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#6 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:16 AM

Hi all,

 

 

Thank you for your feedback. We made the "dairy free" claim because we are quite confident that our product doesn't contain any milk derivatives since all ingredients used are from plant origins (i.e. coconut water and sugar cane).

 

That's why I was sooooo shocked when the external laboratory released the report. Now, we are thinking that maybe the lab made some mistakes during analysis because we cannot think of any possible answers why our product was positive with lactose. I mean, our facility was only processing plants derivatives ingredients so what's up with the result  :crybaby: .

 

This issue was raised by our auditor as one of our non-conformance's, since we already given 1 month to validate such claim, I don't know what else to do  :death: .

 

 

Best regards,

 

Lelou



#7 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:17 AM

It would be helpful if we knew what country your selling in. Countries all have different regs

 

Hi Scampi,

 

 

We export our product mostly in US and Europe country.



#8 kitleen

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:22 AM

Hi all,

 

 

Thank you for your feedback. We made the "dairy free" claim because we are quite confident that our product doesn't contain any milk derivatives since all ingredients used are from plant origins (i.e. coconut water and sugar cane).

 

That's why I was sooooo shocked when the external laboratory released the report. Now, we are thinking that maybe the lab made some mistakes during analysis because we cannot think of any possible answers why our product was positive with lactose. I mean, our facility was only processing plants derivatives ingredients so what's up with the result  :crybaby: .

 

This issue was raised by our auditor as one of our non-conformance's, since we already given 1 month to validate such claim, I don't know what else to do  :death: .

 

 

Best regards,

 

Lelou

 

Hi, 

 

Just curious, is it possible that the external lab has some error in checking? did you check with them on their methodology whether there was some carry over of previous sample at their end?

 

Regards, 

Kit



#9 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 02:27 PM

Maybe look into the coconut water...do you order it as a concentrate? Powdered or liquid? If you're importing it maybe they used a processing aid that contributed the lactose...


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#10 Scampi

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:35 PM

It would appear that the lab has made an error....send finished goods and the coconut water both to the lab. Call and tell them they need to rush the analysis and explain the situation to them

 

Retest is cheaper than new labels and definitely cheaper than a recall for undeclared allergen

 

What analysis was done prior to the labels being made/ordered?



#11 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:01 AM

Hi kitleen/Scampi,

 

 

Upon review of quotation the laboratory submitted to us, they used "Lane-Eynon method" - a titration method of determining the concentration of reducing sugars in a sample. And when you say reducing sugar "any sugar that is capable of acting as a reducing agent because it has a free aldehyde group or a free ketone group. Examples are glucose, fructose, glyceraldehydes, lactose, arabinose and maltose, except for sucrose.

 

Meaning, it does not specifically determine the lactose content of the sample but rather a group of reducing sugar. And I mention earlier that we deliberately add sugar (fructose) to the product. So, maybe what they detected is a combination of all reducing sugars present in the sample which is quite misleading. And according to the external laboratory they really used Lane Eynon Method for determining lactose as it is based on AOAC manual

 

Do you know any method that could really detect the lactose content of a sample?

 

 

Best regards,

 

Lelou



#12 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:14 AM

It would appear that the lab has made an error....send finished goods and the coconut water both to the lab. Call and tell them they need to rush the analysis and explain the situation to them

 

Retest is cheaper than new labels and definitely cheaper than a recall for undeclared allergen

 

What analysis was done prior to the labels being made/ordered?

As for the label, our customer provided it for us. So, we thought they already made some validation on claims declared on the label. We also validated each claim as part of our labeling review protocol and sadly I forgot to validate the "dairy free" claim beforehand.  :unsure:

 

Lelou



#13 Nikki R

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:47 AM

I would look in to getting the coconut water tested. Our horizon scanning has identified quite a few cases of coconut milks and water containing undeclared milk. (Cases seem higher from coconut water / milks originating from Thailand)

 

As a mum of a little one with CMPA (Cows milk protein allergy) I know any trace of milk protein will make him very ill. Lactose free milk products still often contain milk proteins. I don't know the legal limits but as a consumer I would hope a dairy free product is exactly that or we would be in for a very messy rough ride. 



#14 Ian R

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:01 AM

Hi

We work on the principle that a 'free from' claim is an absolute

i.e. below the limit of detection

except for gluten free where there is a max limit

 

I would initially challenge the laboratory on the results

 

We had a similar issue where routine screening of 'Dairy free' products came back with measurable levels of casein.

Once the initial panic settled down we re-tested and challenged the lab and found the results were in error

 

regards



#15 Scampi

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 01:02 PM

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570023217305305

 

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1471-0307.1999.tb02856.x

 

http://www.chromatog...ing-hpaec-pad-0

 

2 of these methods describe using the 

HPAEC-PAD method

 

Perhaps ask your lab if they can perform either of these  OR ask the company that provided the label for a copy of their report



#16 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 02:19 PM

Apparently this is an actual thing, previous issues with milk proteins in "dairy free" coconut milk, caused a death in Australia.

 

Australia recalls, import alerts, and allergic reactions: https://www.choice.c...s-recall-081015

https://www.smh.com....918-gjq37h.html

https://www.smh.com....925-gjvakb.html

 

Food fraud risk for coconut waters: https://trello.com/c...r&filter=coffee

 

Recall of powdered coconut milk for containing sodium caseinate: https://www.foodalle...lared_milk-298/

 

Recalls of similar products for undeclared milk: 

https://www.fda.gov/...s/ucm487262.htm


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#17 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:34 AM

We already agreed to retest the sample using HPLC method - a more elaborate procedure on detecting different kinds of carbohydrates (i.e. lactose, glucose, sucrose, etc.).

 

I hope the result would already be more accurate, non detected hopefully  :rock:  .

 

 

Cheers,

 

Lelou






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