Hey everyone! I hope you had a great week! I could barely keep up with mine, but it was still a good one. I have no new restaurant or shopping experiences to report as my schedule didn’t allow me enough time to get out. Today’s weigh-in has me at 188 lbs, up 3 lbs from my last weigh in and down a total of 2 lbs from when I first started. I’m hoping that this is mostly due to my intended weight gain, regaining lost muscle from my surgery, but I have let myself get a little crazy with the junk food these past couple weeks. Check out this week’s pics below:
Modified Milk Ingredients
I wanted to talk about ‘modified milk ingredients’ in my last post, but couldn’t due to the fact that this topic required far more research than I had expected. For whatever reason, when I first saw this ingredient I thought it would be fine. How bad could it be? I typically saw it in cheese and under the assumption that cheese is basically modified milk, I thought that this must be what they meant. I realized how wrong I was when I saw the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s regulation:
Modified milk ingredients are defined in item 7.1, subsection B.01.010 (3) of the FDR, as "any of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted form, namely, calcium reduced skim milk (obtained by the ion-exchange process), casein, caseinates, cultured milk products, milk serum proteins, ultrafiltered milk, whey, whey butter, whey cream and any other component of milk the chemical state of which has been altered from that in which it is found in milk". - ( http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/inform/calciume.shtml )
Information on modified milk ingredients seems to be fairly tricky to find. It’s essentially an umbrella term that covers nearly any way that milk may be modified, so it can be hard to determine what ingredient it actually is. This makes it even more difficult to make a decision about consuming modified milk ingredients. To start, let’s break down the above options and variations to help make a decision.
Calcium reduced milk obtained by ion-exchange process - This item is pretty straightforward and is one I’m okay with. Essentially, calcium is removed from milk by using ion-exchange. The ion-exchange process is probably the same method used to treat a lot of the water you drink, unless you are on a well system or something similar. The ion exchange process is complicated to explain so if you want more information on how it works and its numerous applications then check out this wikipedia link as it has a great summarization: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_exchange
Casein - Casein makes up four of the six proteins found in milk. It’s the casein that is coagulated in order to make cheese, usually by adding rennet (basically an animal’s stomach lining). Some people may have issues with this protein as it has a similar protein structure to gluten.
Caseinates - Caseinate is a protein derived from casein found in skim milk using calcium hydroxide, or slaked lime, which is a natural occuring substance with numerous uses (I covered this in last week’s post: http://fixingourfood.blogspot.ca/2013/04/april-3-2013.html )
Cultured milk products - This term covers a vast array of dairy products that are fermented with lactic acid (also known as milk acid, it is actually naturally produced by the human body), including products such as cheese and sour cream. This method has been used for thousands of years and is okay in my books.
Milk serum proteins - I had a really tough time finding information on this one. From what I could gather, it seems these proteins are found in whey, a by-product from making cheese. As to any health risks or how it was derived, I wasn’t able to find any information.
Ultrafiltered milk - This is essentially milk that has been passed through a thin, porous membrane in order to remove the water and lactose. Unfortunately, this process may also strip milk of some of its nutritional properties. One of the goals of ultrafiltered milk is to reduce the milk’s volume in order to reduce shipping costs. I wasn’t able to find any information on any potential health risks.
Whey - Whey is a by-product of making cheese. It’s the liquid that remains after the milk has been curdled and strained. Whey was traditionally treated as waste, but is now used to make products such as protein powder. People who are lactose intolerant should avoid whey as it is 70% lactose.
Whey butter - This is butter made from whey cream in the same way that traditional butter is made. It’s used in butter-flavoured foods as it has a stronger butter flavour compared to regular butter.
Whey cream - This is cream that has been skimmed from whey, the by-product of cheese making. It is more salty, tangy and “cheesey” than cream skimmed from milk.
This list doesn’t seem terribly bad....at first. Some of these ingredients were originally waste products that are being recycled into your food in order to save money. If these were the only things that modified milk ingredients could be then I probably wouldn’t be overly concerned, however, the above regulation does not cover everything.
According to Brooklin Naturopath there is another possible ingredient called butter oil. This ingredient is 49% butter-oil and 51% SUGAR. Because this product is mostly sugar, it isn’t considered a dairy product, so it’s able to avoid the usual tariffs and regulations when being imported into the country. ( http://www.brooklinnaturopath.ca/photos/custom/webstuff/What%20are%20modified%20milk%20ingredients.pdf )
Here’s where this ingredient starts to get really sketchy: you may never be able to find out what the manufacturer is actually using as a modified milk ingredient. What happens, according to CBC, is that manufacturers may use any combination of any modified milk ingredient, combined with other ingredients, to create the product they want at any time. And, to top it all off, this can change daily ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2010/08/25/f-food-chocolate-milk-ingredients.html ). Here is a document from the Dairy Processors Association of Canada to back it up:
So what does this all mean? All that I can say is that I can’t really tell you what this ingredient really is since it will always be changing in your food and, based on the Canada Food Inspection Agency regulations, it’s hard to know what all the possible options could be. I will be avoiding modified milk ingredients due to this uncertainty. There are plenty of options, such as Babybel original cheese, so don’t worry.
If you have any questions, comments, or know of any great dairy products (like cheese and ice cream) that are modified milk ingredient free then please post it in the comments section below or email me at email@example.com .
For now I leave you with a fun breakfast recipe for egg muffins, great for breakfast on the go: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2006/10/egg-muffins-revisited-again.html?m=1
Thanks for stopping in and enjoy!