If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.

– Abraham Lincoln

picture of black coffee - what is in non-dairy creamer
What is in Non-Dairy Creamer?

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.
  • Monoglycerides
    • 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!
  • Colour
    • 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:

4 Comments on “Cream in My Coffee – What is in Non-Dairy Creamer?

  1. The major fat in mother’s milk is the same lauric acid as in coconut oil. Baby foods all over the world do contain Lauric acid (that from coconut oil) as the prominent ingredient.

  2. Hi, Mark, Good post. I have been searching frequently for this kind of info and I??m impressed! Useful info especially the last part as I care for such info often. I was looking for this kind of info for the past couple of weeks. Thanks and best wishes!

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