How to Buy Milk Allergy Free Chocolate

Three Parts:Checking the labelsChoosing milk-free varieties of chocolateFinding the milk-free chocolate

In a world full of chocolate lovers, many people with milk allergies may find it hard to satisfy their sweet tooth. Chocolate is one of the products that causes much of the trouble for those allergic to milk.[1] That is why it's important to be absolutely sure that your chocolate does not contain milk. This article gives tips on how to find milk-free chocolate and how to verify that the chocolate is free of milk proteins.

Part 1
Checking the labels

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    Read the labels on chocolate packaging. The ingredients list and associated informative language will help you to work out which brands or styles of chocolate are milk-free. Look for such words as "dairy-free", "milk-free", "suitable for vegans", or similar. Equally, look for "made in a place that uses milk", "processed on the same machinery where milk is used", etc.; if you are highly allergic to milk (meaning that you have an extremely low tolerance to milk proteins), these phrases provide an indicator to avoid that brand or type of chocolate altogether because there is a real risk of some milk protein being transferred to the chocolate during manufacturing.
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    Watch out for milk-related terms in chocolate ingredient lists (This includes filled chocolates or chocolate-flavored products). Some of the more common ingredients to be concerned about include:[1]
    • Whey
    • Milk solids (curds)
    • Casein, often written as sodium caseinate
    • Lactose, galactose (and most ingredients beginning with "lact"-)
    • Caramel coloring; unless indicated otherwise, this is often derived from milk.

Part 2
Choosing milk-free varieties of chocolate

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    Look for chocolate that has been specifically made dairy-free. Fortunately, there are a few possibilities here, including:
    • Dark chocolate varieties. Many dark chocolate varieties do not add milk because it reduces the bitterness or strong and delectable taste of dark chocolate. You do need to be able to handle the more bitter and stronger flavor that comes with dark chocolate varieties. (Also be aware that not all dark chocolate is milk-free; quite a few dark chocolate brands will still contain milk or milk derivatives, or will include milk in the filling or additives.)
    • Vegan chocolate. Any chocolate marketed to vegans must not contain dairy milk.
    • Soy, rice, coconut or other plant milk chocolate. Plant milk chocolates are on the increase and are even found in some supermarkets. This type of chocolate will taste different from dairy milk chocolate but you may find the flavor is even nicer, or at least comparable. Rice milk chocolate tends to be quite smooth and does not overpower the chocolate flavor.
    • Kosher pareve chocolate is milk-free.

Part 3
Finding the milk-free chocolate

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    Start with your local supermarket. Check the labels, as explained above, for all of the brands that it stocks. You never know which ones might be milk-free. If there are none, consider asking the store manager to get some milk-free chocolate in, at least on a trial basis.
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    Look for specialty stores, especially those carrying health food or vegan food supplies. These stores may stock dairy-free chocolate, especially if they have vegan clientele or they already cater to allergy-free customers. As well as walk-in stores, you may be able to find these stores online, either via their own websites or through an intermediary website such as an auction site.
    • Don't forget boutique chocolate makers. Many such makers pride themselves on using the very best chocolate from some of the renowned chocolate growing areas of the world, and they are less likely to adulterate fine quality chocolate with milk.
    • Check which manufacturers are happy to send their dairy-free chocolate products overseas to you if you don't find local stores (either real shopfronts or online stores) in your area or country. Be sure to check with customs about any charges on such foods coming in to your country.


  • Many kosher bakeries also sell milk-free (chocolate-based) pastries. Challah is made with eggs and mixing milk and eggs is not kosher.
  • Once you find a brand you like, stick to it. There aren't a lot of brands out there yet, although this area is growing.
  • Be aware that the same brand can carry lines of chocolate which contain milk and other lines that do not. Do not assume that all of the brand's products are dairy free just because one or a few of the products are free of milk.[1]
  • Look online for recipes for fudge, truffles, or homemade chocolates that conform to your allergy.
  • Look for "accidentally dairy free" chocolate-flavored products, such as Oreos, some hot chocolate mixes, Duncan Hines brownie mixes (but not milk chocolate), Häagen-Dazs chocolate sorbet, Hershey's chocolate syrup, Nabisco chocolate teddy grahams, Duncan Hines chocolate buttercream, Nesquik chocolate syrup, etc.[2][1]Always read the labels with care before assuming anything is dairy-free though. (The term "accidentally dairy free" simply refers to the fact that the manufacturer did not set out to make the product dairy-free and that you might expect the product to contain dairy but by a stroke of chance, it doesn't, so it's probably okay for you. That said, it might contain other things that aren't that healthy, so be conscious of that possibility.)


  • This article is not medical advice. Always discuss your allergy-free food choices with your doctor or other qualified health professional.
  • Make sure to always triple check. This may save your life if you are highly intolerant of milk proteins. Be suspicious if the label reads "Made in a facility that processes... dairy/milk/milk derivatives". Moreover, even if you have had a brand before, always read the label upon each purchase. Sometimes a dairy-free product starts including dairy. Sometimes, as with Green and Black's chocolate brand, risk auditing reveals that the potential for cross-contamination and leaving behind milk proteins is too great, because the machinery-cleaning processes cannot be guaranteed to remove the milk proteins.[3]
  • If you aren't sure about the milk-free status of a chocolate, and your milk allergy is of a high level of intolerance, do not consume it. Ask the company directly for advice and clarification before consuming the chocolate. Use Twitter and Facebook avenues to get contact with the company if emails or letters don't get a reply or aren't your way of communicating.
  • Dairy-free or vegan labeling doesn't guarantee that the chocolate is good for you. It may still contain high fructose corn syrup, lots of sugar, hydrogenated fat and other items that should not be consumed in high amounts.

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Categories: Chocophilia