Keeping America Safe for Chocolate Milk

For almost 50 years Mom had an understudy in the kitchen: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This government agency carefully studied her recipes and wrote them down; they even considered her chocolate milk recipe.

FDA can establish legally enforceable recipes that food manufacturers must comply with: these are known as “food standards.” A food cannot purport or represent to be a standardized food unless it complies with the standard or calls itself an “imitation.” This recipe writing authority has been in the news lately as people debate whether soymilk, almond-milk, and other like products can include the word “milk” in their name.

This is because FDA has a food standard for “milk,” which is:

Milk is the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows. Milk that is in final package form for beverage use shall have been pasteurized or ultrapasteurized, and shall contain not less than 8 1⁄4 percent milk solids not fat and not less than 3 1⁄4 percent milkfat. Milk may have been adjusted by separating part of the milkfat therefrom, or by adding thereto cream, concentrated milk, dry whole milk, skim milk, concentrated skim milk, or nonfat dry milk. Milk may be homogenized.

21 C.F.R. 131.110(a).

Beyond milk, there are 259 other food standards, including peanut butter, canned asparagus, frozen breaded raw shrimp, and frozen lemonade concentrate (but not lemonade). There were more food standards that FDA retired, including one for “soda water,” also known as “cola” or “kola,” and a variant known as a “pepper.”

In the 1940s, FDA considered establishing a food standard for chocolate milk. Alas FDA focused its attention elsewhere and never even proposed a chocolate milk standard.



TrueMoo Picture from USDA Blog, Join the Conversation on Smart Snacks in Schools.

Nestles Quik ad found on Pinterest.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s