Most vegans know how to avoid milk at the store and many are accustomed to locating it on a food label, not to mention these days companies love showing you their products are vegan by marketing them as so. However, if you’re not careful, you may be taking in animal products without knowing it, with milk being one of the leading sneaky additives you’ll find in processed foods. Whether you’re a long-time vegan or a new vegan, lactose-intolerant, or you just don’t “do dairy”, then be sure you know how milk is disguised on a food label so you can learn how to avoid it.

Given Names for Milk-Derived Ingredients:

  • Acidophilus Milk
  • Butter (natural or artificial)
  • Buttermilk or powder
  • Casein & caseinates
  • Ammonium caseinate
  • alcium caseinate
  • Magnesium caseinate
  • Potassium caseinate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Hydrolyzed casein
  • Iron caseinate
  • Zinc caseinate
  • Cheese (all types)
  • Cheese flavor
  • Vegetarian cheese (check labels to ensure the product is vegan, not just vegetarian)
  • Cream
  • Curds
  • Custard
  • Galactose
  • Ghee
  • Half & Half
  • Hydrolysates (casein hydrolysate, milk protein hydrolysate, protein hydrolysate, whey hydrolysate, whey protein hydrolysate)
  • Ice cream
  • Lactalbumin
  • Lactalbumin phosphate
  • Lactate solids
  • Lactyc yeast
  • Lactitol monohydrate
  • Lactoglobulin
  • Lactose
  • Lactulose
  • Margarine (unless dairy-free)
  • Milk – all kinds except vegan verified non-dairy sources
  • Goat’s Milk
  • Powered Milk
  • Milk fat
  • Nisin preparation
  • Nougat
  • Pudding
  • Quark
  • Recaldent
  • Rennet, rennet casein
  • Sherbert
  • Simplesse (fat replacer)
  • Sour cream
  • Whey (anything with whey on the label)
  • Whipped topping
  • Yogurt (regular or frozen)

Possible Sources of Milk:

  • Some Probiotics (check for milk in the allergens list)
  • Natural flavoring
  • Flavoring
  • “Protein” flour
  • Lactic acid

The best way to avoid milk in your food is to choose whole foods over processed foods and look for “vegan” on the label or “dairy-free”. With all the amazing dairy-free products out there today, there’s no better time to get rid of milk for good. Whether you have an intolerance or a food allergy, or you decide to do it for the animals and planet, going dairy-free is an awesome choice so long as you know what to avoid. Looking for fun ways to use nondairy milk? Try out these seven unique ways, learn how to choose the best non-dairy milk,  and learn how to make your favorite dairy-based foods vegan. 

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Sources: Go Dairy-Free.Org, Kids with Food Allergies.Org

Image source: Mike Schmid/Flickr