Consumers of fresh or powdered milk products are urged to pay attention to information on food labels before making a purchase, as many items contain unnecessary and excessive additives, a foundation said yesterday.
Buyers often overlook the label and rely solely on the packaging design to help them decide which product is better, said Hsu Hui-yu (許惠玉), director of the nutritional section of the John Tung Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to public welfare.
Although some milk cartons are emblazoned with words such as “nutrient-enhanced,” the milk itself has a high cream content, which translates into more fat and a less balanced diet, she said.
A survey conducted by the foundation earlier this year found most milk products contain a wide range of additives such as calcium and sugar substitutes.
“Our bodies do not need these additives,” said Lin Wei (林薇), a professor at Chinese Culture University’s department of food health and nutrition science.
“Milk alone is nutritious enough,” Lin said.
At a press conference, she said it was difficult to find powdered milk without artificial additives in supermarkets.
“It is not uncommon for me to search from store to store looking for milk that does not contain additives,” she said.
An excessive intake of fresh cream over the long term can lead to cardiovascular disease, she said.
Lin also called on the government to regulate food manufacturers’ advertisements.