There's a new chocolate milk in town. It's no longer just milk but Milk/Dairy Beverage. A colleague of mine first brought this to my attention a couple of weeks ago when he brought home what he thought was a carton of chocolate milk, only to discover the word Beverage added. Both curious and wary, he decided to try it. As he poured a glass, he first noticed it's colour had changed to a "grey-brown". When it came to taste, he wasn't at all impressed by it's "chalkiness" and decided to discard the rest.
I haven't tried the new drink nor do I plan to as I am lactose intolerant. As much as I want to be a friend to Dairy, it wants to remain enemies. But for all my friends and loved ones that can enjoy milk, I was a little worried about what they might be consuming, and I was determined to find some answers.
Now, I'm not 100% positive that what I have found is the answer, but it does bring a lot more questions to the table about what people consume on a daily basis.
There is a possibility that the Milk/Dairy Beverage is made from Protelac 230, a milk replacer,which is "composed of between 35 to 45 percent lactose, between 33 and 43 percent nonfat dry milk, between 10 and 20 percent canola oil, between 2 and 8 percent sodium caseinate, and less than 2 percent each of sodium phosphate and flavor. It is to be used as an ingredient in the manufacture of instant, hot beverage mixes, to give a milky flavor and a creamy texture, or in vending machine applications, as a foaming agent.
The other theory of why it may be called Milk/Dairy Beverage is because an artificial sweetener replaced the sugar. According to Agropur (a division of Natrel), "a chocolate milk can ONLY be made with milk or milk ingredients, a flavour preparation (cocoa powder) and a sweetener. Low-Calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose and Ace-K (acesulfame-potassium) can only be used in Milk Beverages" (hence the probable change in labeling from Milk Beverage to Dairy Beverage).
What reasons would companies like Natrel, Sealtest and Beatrice have for marketing Chocolate Milk Beverage? Lower costs and greater profits? Probably. But why continue to create products that utilize chemical additives such as sucralose, aspartame and Ace-K when we know these are bad for us?
I plan to further investigate this with letters to the large milk chains and will update my blog at a later date. For now, I would probably steer this product clear from my family until I get some clearer answers.