What does ‘fortified milk’ mean?

Let’s face it, there is lots of info out there on the big wide web. Like, really, what does “fortified milk” even mean and, is it even good for me? Well, it’s funny you ask. To get to the bottom of all things to do with fortified milk, we sat down for a lil’ Q & A with Pam, our in-house food science smarty-pants and all-round R&D whiz. She’s droppin’ all the deets on what fortifying milk means, what the benefits are and how it’s done so you can become a pro in no time. It’s about to be your new fav topic. And if not, then okay, your second-fav topic.

Q: Hey Pam, so let’s jump straight in. What is fortified milk? And why do we, Earth’s Own, even do it?

Pam: Hey, great question! When milk – either plant-based or dairy – is fortified, the process is one whereby vitamins and minerals are intentionally added in quantities not usually present. It is certainly not mandated by Health Canada, but we voluntarily chose to because, like you, we know the importance of getting the right nutrition throughout the day.

Q: Is fortified milk good? Like, good as in yummy? But also, good as in good for you?

Pam: Yes! And, heck yes! Earth’s Own vitamin-fortified milks are not only creamy and downright delish, but they are also a convenient way to increase micronutrient intake. The levels of vitamin and mineral nutrients that can be added are governed and regulated by Health Canada – with the intent to provide the nutritional equivalent to the substituted food. So, all that to say, it’s good for your taste buds and good for your body. Totally win-win, right?

Q:  But how is milk fortified? Like, what is the process? For example, are we thinking Austin Powers’ cryogenic freezing chamber kinda vibes?

Pam: No, not that far, although it’s a great movie! Because the fortification process is as simple as taking an over-the-counter vitamin supplement. Only, in our case, Earth’s Own formulates a vitamin premix that contains all the required vitamins and minerals. Then, we add the accurate amount to our formulation. No cryogenic freezing chamber required!

Q: Okay, so all this vitamin-talk. We get it. But what vitamins are specifically added to our products?

Pam: Glad you asked. We enrich Earth’s Own Almond and Oat M*lks with all kinds of good stuff. That includes Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin (aka Vitamin B2), Calcium, and Zinc in levels specified by Health Canada. On top of these, Earth’s Own Soy M*lk is additionally fortified with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Thiamine (aka Vitamin B1), Niacin (aka Vitamin B3), Folacin (aka Vitamin B9), Pantothenic Acid (aka Vitamin B5), Phosphorus, Potassium and Magnesium. Okay, now read that all again five times fast.

Q: Ahh that totes makes sense! Now down to a hard question. Are all Earth’s Own m*lks fortified the same? I guess we’re kinda wondering: Which plant-based milk is the most nutritious?

Pam: Thankfully, that’s an easy one. From a fortification perspective, the entire line up of Earth’s Own plant-based m*lks are nutritionally equivalent. That’s because of the standardized level of fortification. All our plant-based m*lks are fortified with the same vitamin premix we spoke about earlier, with the exception of the source of the calcium used in fortification. We use both Tricalcium Phosphate and Calcium Carbonate in our formulations as our Calcium enrichment source. Oh, and awesome news on the Earth’s Own Oat M*lk front. It’s one of the most nutritious plant-based m*lks out there – providing 4g of protein and 2g of fiber per serving. So basically, you can’t really go wrong.

Q: That’s great news, ‘cause we find it hard to choose! Hey, so there’s a lot of info floating around out there that isn’t necessarily accurate. Like, the myth that Vitamin A Palmitate is made from palm oil. Is that true or false? 

Pam: False. Vitamin A Palmitate is not extracted from palm oil. Rather, it is produced through a human-made process.

Q: Okay, so what about Vitamin D? Let’s talk about that for a sec. Just give it to us straight. Is Vitamin D vegan?

Pam: You want it straight? Here goes. Yes! We only use Vitamin D2, which is human-made. In fact, all of our products are fully vegan.

Q: Nice, we happen to love delish vegan options! Okay, so, burning question. Did Earth’s Own alter its fortification formula as some peeps have noticed there was a recent change on our Nutrition Facts Table (NFT). What’s up with that? Did you reformulate and keep it on the down-low?!

Pam: No! We did not change or reformulate our m*lks. But we get why you might think we did. Health Canada has revised some of the recommended daily intake of several nutrients based on updated science. As a result, we – and other companies too, of course – updated our NFTs to reflect these new guidelines as required by Health Canada. Mystery solved!

If you’re interested in learning more – hey, at Earth’s Own, we love this kinda intel – check out this info-rich resource here. And, if you’re super-dooper keen, you can also check out the Health Canada Table of Daily Values here.

Q: This is great, we love extra info. So, when all is said and done, is milk fortification safe?

Pam: Abso-freakin-lutely! Fortification is safe. And not just for plant-based bevvies like our creamy and delish Earth’s Own Oat, Almond, and Soy m*lks. In fact, it is actually mandatory to fortify dairy milks in Canada with both Vitamin A and Vitamin D. However, that said, if you do not want fortification in your beverages we do have our super yummy Naked Organic Oat M*lk. It’s made using only 4 simple ingredients.

Pam, this has been seriously amazing. Thank you so much for this super helpful info. Anyone else around here suddenly feeling like a M*lk Fortification Rock Star? If you have any more questions, please hit us up in our DM’s on Instagram or email us here.

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