We’ve been noticing a lot of press lately surrounding the confusion of products being labelled as vegan whilst not being dairy free, and so we thought we’d try and shed some light on the matter!
Vegan products are those which do not contain animal products. This may include, but is not limited to eggs, dairy, meat, fish or honey. Basically, any product which has been sourced from an animal in any way.
Everything we make at the Goupie Factory is vegan friendly. We do not add any animal-based ingredients to any of our products. We also check with all of our suppliers that our composite ingredients are free-from animal products.
Dairy free products are those which are completely free from dairy. Dairy being one of the 14 major allergens defined in UK by the Food Standard’s Agency. You would be forgiven for assuming that if a product was vegan, it would also be suitable for those who are dairy free. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The important point to note here is that dairy is an allergy. Therefore, for those with severe reactions to dairy, such as anaphylaxis, there can be absolutely no trace within the products they consume.
To label a product as dairy free, there must be no risk of contamination, something which is rare in most commercial factories which handle a number of different products. In a large chocolate factory, for example, they are likely to make many different chocolates using the same machinery. If some of these chocolates contain milk, despite cleaning between uses, there is an extremely high risk of contamination between other products. Whether they actually contain milk as an active ingredient or not.
For this reason, at Goupie, not all of our products are suitable for those who have a dairy allergy. Our white chocolate and 70% are made in a factory which handles dairy, and therefore has a higher risk of contamination. We have been looking for an alternative for this for some time, even attempting to make our own white chocolate, but we’re yet to find a suitable solution.
The good news is, Goupie Factory itself does not handle any dairy at all. Our signature 55% chocolate also comes from a source which does not handle dairy and is certified as dairy-free. This means that the majority of our products are suitable for those with dairy allergies. As an extra precaution, we also randomly test these products with an independent food laboratory to check for contamination.
It is incredibly important to understand the difference between products which are suitable for those suffering with specific allergies, and products which do not actively contain certain ingredients. It may seem like a small distinction but it can make a huge difference to an individual’s life.
We hope that we’ve helped clear up the matter a little bit, but if you have any doubt, about any of our products, please do get in touch!
For those of you looking for products free from all 14 allergies, we highly recommend Creative Nature, who are really pioneering the free from movement in the UK.