If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
– Abraham Lincoln
I like to drink my coffee black. No cream or sugar, just plain and simple. My wife, and a lot of other people I know, add powdered coffee whitener (non-dairy creamer) to their coffee.
Have you ever wanted to know what exactly this non-dairy creamer was made from? I did, so I got the container out of the cupboard and read the ingredients. Then, I had to go and research what each of those ingredients were because there were a lot of really big words 😉 .
Non-Dairy Creamer Ingredients
The following list gives a brief description of each ingredient.
- Glucose Syrup
- Glucose or corn syrup is used as a sweetener.
- Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil(coconut, palm kernel and/or soybean oil)
- To replicate the feel of cream without using milk fats, other fats are used. In this case, vegetable oils.
- Although the amounts are low, there are trans-fats present.
- Sodium Caseinate
- This is a milk protein (casein comes from the latin word for cheese). It gets added to give a milky flavour and texture.
- Di-potassium Phosphate
- Digestion of sugars, fats, and proteins is aided by this food additive. You have to wonder though because dipotassium phosphate is also used as fertilizer and as a pesticide.
- Sodium Aluminum Silicate
- Also know as albite feldspar, it is used by potters as a glazing and strengthening agent. In this case, it is used as an anti-caking agent so the creamer remains powdery. (Note: because it remains powdery, it can also be very flammable!)
- Food additives containing aluminum are coming under more and more scrutiny due to health concerns.
- Acting as an emulsifier, monoglycerides help mix the creamer into the coffee. They are fatty acids ending in a glyceride molecule. The glyceride end attaches to water in the coffee, while the fatty acid end binds to fats and oils in the creamer.
- Acetylated Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono and Digycerides
- Again, these are emulsifiers. See Monoglycerides, above, for details.
- Artificial Flavour
- Manufacturers generally keep their flavouring agents secret. You can probably assume that glucose syrup and vegetable oil doesn’t taste much like cream, so they need to add something!
- The particular brand of creamer that I looked at just said colour in the ingredients list. One common yellowish food colouring that is used is called Annatto.
After making this list, I don’t think I start putting powdered creamer in my coffee anytime soon. How do you like your coffee? Please, leave a comment and let us know your opinion.
Thanks for reading.
More information can be found in the following articles: