Is Margarine Dairy?

Margarine is usually located in the dairy section of the supermarket nestled adjacent to butter. Many people probably would suspect that margarine is a dairy product based on where it is located in the store. In order for it to be a dairy product, it must be derived from milk as a primary ingredient. Let’s dig into the ingredients of margarine to see if it contains milk.

We looked at the ingredients of a selection of major margarine brands to see if any ingredients indicated that the products contained milk. Here are the ingredients:

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! (Original Spread) – purified water, soybean oil, palm kernel and palm oil, salt, lecithin (soy), natural flavors*, vinegar, vitamin a palmitate, beta carotene (color). *

*Company states the natural flavors a derived from milk

Promise Buttery Spread – vegetable oil blend, water, whey (milk), salt, vegetable mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, potassium sorbate, calicium disodium EDTA, vitamin e acetate, citric acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, artificial flavor.

Imperial Spread – purified water, soybean oil, palm kernel and palm oil, salt, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, vinegar, natural flavor, vitamin a palmitate.

Country Crock Orginal –  purified water, soybean oil, palm kernel and palm oil, salt, soy lecithin, vinegar, natural flavors, vitamin a palmitate, beta carotene.

Is Margarine Dairy

We would not consider margarine a dairy product because its main ingredient is not milk. Dairy products like yogurt, butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream all have a main ingredient of milk.  However, you will notice that some products like Promise or I Can’t Believe It Is Not Butter!, contain a portion of milk. Even the natural flavors found in Imperial and Country Crock can have a small amount of milk. If you are trying to avoid dairy altogether, it is important to read the margarine label to see it the ingredients show milk or a form of milk. Usually, the companies websites can provide details on the dairy or lack thereof contained in their products.

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