Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lactic Acid Starter Culture

From everything I have read lactic acid starter cultures MAY contain milk proteins if they are derived from milk. However, lactic acid starter cultures may be derived from vegetable sources such as beet and corn. So if you see it on a label and have no way to call the company and get a straight answer (assuming someone at the company is knowledgeable enough to answer your question and/or will actually respond to you) assuming that the product contains dairy is the safest route to go.

Most companies don't indicate on packaging what the source of the lactic acid starter culture is, however, I know of a least one that does. Wellshire Farms does a line of meats including turkey sticks and pepperoni. On the label for their turkey sticks it states that the lactic acid starter culture is derived from corn. I personally think they are tasty though Max thinks they are too spicy. I haven't looked at a package of pepperoni but you can search their products with elimination of your specific allergen and pepperoni does come up as dairy free. If you are in doubt please call the company but (this is mainly for elisha (Hi! Thanks for introducing yourself)) may be worth a shot.

The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act only covers labeling for foods under FDA inspection. It does not cover anything under USDA, hence meat. Which is why companies don't have to disclose the source of their lactic acid starter culture. Here is a good FAQ sheet about FALCPA.


Linds said...

Thanks for this post. I'm a little confused though.

So meats do not have to label whether they contain an allergen or not because they come under the USDA?

Do you know anything about sodium lactate? Is that similar to lactic acid where it may be derived from milk?

Our son has a dairy allergy and has broken out twice from 2 different brands of turkey dogs. This may help solve our problem.

Ariel said...

You probably already know this, but a good way around this problem is to buy kosher meat products- then you can be absolutely sure there isn't any dairy involved. Of course, this doesn't work so well for stuff like pepperoni!

Julie B said...

thank you so much for this post, as I wasn't aware that meat products did not fall under the required labeling. We do not eat any meat that does not state "gluten-free" on it, but its often difficult to know whether or not dairy or soy is in it. My daughter reacted a couple weeks ago to ham that I cannot seem to get the ingredients for (company not returning my calls or emails) so I just have to assume there was soy in it.
Anyway-reading this posts makes it even more clearer for me, so thanks!

All my love, Carmen said...

Linds- Sodium Lactate:
Plasticizer substitute for glycerin. Otherwise, its uses are essentially identical to calcium lactate. Calcium Lactate is not a dairy ingredient (it's made of sugar cane)
FAAN says of calcium and sodium lactate: "They do not contain milk protein and need not be restricted by someone avoiding milk." :)

elisha said...

thanks for the information. when i looked it up several years ago, i couldn't find nearly so much. i seem to always get the run around when i call companies or restaurants.

this is also a good reminder for me to take a look at all of our "safe" food again to make sure they are still ok.

purplemommy said...

all my love, carmen - Thanks for answering linds question. I have been a very absent blogger lately.

EyesWideOpen529 said...

Thanks, I needed to know what to look for and your posts were great. I found another All Beef hot dog that my kids and i love just as much! Its Coleman Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dogs (I found it at Costco, but I was told it's also at Whole Foods under the Nature's Rancher brand.) Aside from being made with Antibiotic-free beef, it is also free of all these things: Nitrites, Nitrates, Gluten, Milk, Dairy of any kind, the lactic acid culture starter is from corn, and the people that answer the phone, REALLY know what they are talking about.

juliajan said...

I have tried to find out from Wellshire farms if their lactic acid starter would cause an allergic reaction in someone who cannot tolerate yeast. It is from a fermentation process as is sodium lactate. No reply. Does anyone know?

June Cleaver said...

Hi, my name is Shamron and my 2yo son seems to be allergic to all kinds of things like tomatoes, avocados, citrus, citric acid, bananas, possibly melon, vinegar (not sure what kind or maybe all kinds??), grapes, possibly coconut oil, etc. He doesn't seem to be allergic to dairy, wheat, peanuts or corn. I'm not sure about soy as we don't eat very many soy products (although some form of soy is in just about everything it seems). He gets a really bad rash on his face when he eats something he is allergic to, then it starts oozing and then scabs up. He was doing really well the more things we figured out (we've been looking at a list of foods related to latex allergy and eliminating those things). Lately however, he has been having some flare ups. Once recently from some salami--which he has eaten a lot of before and not reacted to. I realized that this could possibly be from the wine in it, since we think he is allergic to grapes (duh!). But was wondering about the lactic acid starter culture(not from milk) as well. Does anyone here have any advice for me? We do have an appt. with a conventional allergy doctor at the end of the month. Also, any advice regarding allergy testing a 2yo? He was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes this past December, but I don't think the allergies are related to that--my 11yo daughter also has type 1. Thanks in advance for any advice.