In 2004 the FDA enacted the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act(FALCPA). This act helps identify the detail surrounding the labeling of foods with specific allergens. Companies that label foods after 2006 must adhere to the guidelines of this act. The eight major food allergens recognized by the FDA are milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. The FDA also requires that the allergen be identified by its food source. This is in an effort to easily and uniformly identify allergens in packaged and prepared foods. If a product ingredient list includes whey protein isolate, soy lecithin and egg white powder, it must state the identity of the allergen food source as Contains milk, soy, and egg.
Why is this important? In an effort to comply with the FALCPA, some of our products have the “Contains milk” statement on the label. However for those without a food allergy, it may be confusing. The product contains a derivative of milk (whey protein isolate) but does not actually contain milk.
This is particularly important for those with a lactose intolerance. Although some of our products state “Contains milk” all of our products are either low lactose or lactose free. A lactose intolerance is different than a true milk allergy. Many that have a lactose intolerance can safely consume up to 12 grams of lactose per day (tolerance range will vary from person to person).
Understanding the difference in ingredients and the regulations for labeling help provide better products for both you and the population you serve.