Most Powder Milk Alternatives NOT VEGAN

As my previous post has stated the South African Vegan Society have discovered that most powdered milk alternatives available in this country are not vegan. They contain Casein which is a derivative of animal milk, added to products as an emulsifier. With the new consumer protection labelling laws that have come into action, we are finding out that almost all of our previously-deemed-vegan powdered milk substitutes are not, and have never been, vegan.

Everyone I have spoken to is bitterly disappointed, and it feels like we have been misled. Rightly so, none of these products seem to ever have claimed to be suitable for vegans, but it was hard not to assume that milk alternatives should be suitable for vegans, as I had assumed that we were the market being catered for.

The list of products containing animal derived ingredients include (to be updated as we find out more):
  • Nature's Choice
  • Health Connection Wholefoods 
  • Phyto Nutraceutical
Health Connection sent the following letter to complainants:

To all Health Connection Wholefoods Customers

Lactose Free Milk Powders

Health Connection Wholefood’s values include integrity and we always try to do the right thing. Recently there have been significant changes to the labeling requirements for food products and we are one of the first companies to update our labels to comply. Our old labels complied with the old legislation, but there were a few points that we updated and additional information is now included. We have also passed all our Food Safety audits and run laboratory tests on our processes on a regular basis.

We designed our milk powder range for consumers who suffer from lactose intolerance. Our labels did not claim they were suitable for vegans or vegetarians and we did not realize how many vegans used our milk powders. We only recently became aware of the small amounts of casein (used as an emulsifier) in the product and changed the labels accordingly.

We have taken the following additional steps:

i) Working with our supplier to develop casein free milk formulas, which will be
labeled “milk free” and suitable for strict vegetarians, after confirmation of this by
laboratory testing. The soya milk variant is currently being produced and the rice
milk variant will also be available soon.

ii) Our understanding is that there are no old labels in stores, but we are conducting an
audit to check the facts and will remove any products with old labels from the

Thank you to all the consumers who have bought our products over the years. If we have upset or inconvenienced any of you I unreservedly apologise and hope that the steps taken will help to restore your faith in our brand.

Yours sincerely

Alistair Noyce
Managing Director

Phyto Nutraceuticals made the following statement:
We have been informed from our supplier that  the source of the Vitamin D3 is sheep's wool oils that are extracted and then exposed to UV light

Kind Regards

Angela Schmid

Managing Member
082 491 2220
021 783 5738

Phyto Nutraceuticals products also contain the following that:

May be animal-derived ingredients:

Calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5)

Are possibly genetically modified ingredients:
Soy bean oil
Aqueous extract of soy
Soy protein

Please contact the companies to let them know how upset and disappointed you may be should you be a loyal customer of any of the brands. Personally, I don't accept any of the terrible excuses that we have received.

At least there are still some sources of milk alternatives that we can trust.
  • Good Hope
  • Alpro
  • Woolworths 
  • EARTH PRODUCTS SOY MILK POWDER: "our soya milk powder is 100% soya, in other words nothing but soya." So confirms Pritam Khalsa of Earth Products.
Should you have any other products in mind that you know do not contain animal derived products please let us know in the comments. Unfortunately restaurants may not yet be aware of these developments, so please check where the restaurant's dairy alternatives come from.

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