Is Sodium Caseinate vegan?
For those of you that are not that familiar with the name Sodium Caseinate, you may have alternatively heard of the term milk powder. They are one and the same. To answer the question of is Sodium Caseinate Vegan, we need to take a closer look at the properties and biological structure.
This product is often used in almost every coffeehouse chain that you have ever been to as a substitute for real milk in their drinks. It is often marketed as fake milk with no dairy, commonly added to a lot of coffee whiteners and coffee powders as well.
However, in situations like these, it is always best to do some research on your own and not trust the label that much. Luckily, we looked everything up for your convenience.
For starters, as a small chemistry lesson, Sodium Caseinate is at its origins a protein that one can find in the milk of all mammals on Earth. It is a protein that is also found in all cheese; its name is derived from the Latin word for cheese.
The fact that it is naturally found in milk and various cheese products does not mean that some people cannot become allergic from it.
Sodium Caseinate – Lactose and Gluten intolerance
Those people that are lactose intolerant and lactose insensitive should steer away from it, and those that have an allergy to gluten should do the same as well. Why? Well, it has a similar chemical structure to gluten, meaning it can do almost the same amount of damage.
Even more, this chemical compound has been linked in some studies to being able to cause seizures and also autism. However, that is a rare occurrence.
By now some of you may have answered the question of whether Sodium Caseinate is vegan or not on their own. If you haven’t, let us break it down for you. If you are a lacto-vegetarian (meaning you also allow dairy products in your diet), then feel free to consume milk powder without any worries.
However, if you are a vegan or a vegetarian, then this product is not vegan approved since it is, in theory, an animal product. In theory, this is a milk protein meaning that is dairy but since the chemical strain has been altered in various industrial processes, in theory, it is not in its natural form and therefore dairy-free.
In order to get Sodium Caseinate, they take Casein Acid (found naturally in milk) and mix it with Sodium Hydroxide. The combination of the two results in the chemical that we have been talking about.
The most important thing that we can recommend you do is to check your label since (due to this gaping loophole) companies can add milk powder to their products and still market them as dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan safe. Also be aware that this chemical has been known to be included in some dietary supplements as well.
People that are allergic to gluten or even to dairy should carefully check the ingredients list and stay away from products that have Sodium Caseinate in them!