From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

Milk protein concentrates (MPCs) are legally inedible, dirty milk byproducts imported from foreign countries and used in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and other processed food products. The FDA does not recognize MPCs as "food" and does not inspect them, and the USDA do not include MPCs in their food calculations, but American corporations synthesize MPCs into food all the time.

We have searched our files and find no responsive information for scientific studies on human safety and consumption of ultra filtered milk/milk protein concentrates.
FDA FOIA FO3-8050 to John Bunting (August 13, 2003)


Are MPCs safe to eat?

MPCs are not "Generally Recognized As Safe" by the FDA-- rather, they simply pass through our borders uninspected. MPCs are made from leftover milk. MPCs are imported from countries with lower food standards than the United States. Hmm, I dunno... you figure this out.

Industry rebuttal:

Because milk protein concentrate is simply filtered, there is nothing in it that doesn't come solely from milk. There are no known health or safety issues associated with milk, milk protein concentrate, or any other milk ingredient. Milk derived products are safe and suitable for human consumption because, as we are sure your readers recognize, for years milk has been recognized as safe and suitable for human consumption.
Kraft Foods, letter to The Milkweed, January 2001

Some sample health and safety issues associated with milk: Listeria, tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Crohn's Disease.

Where MPCs come from

Since MPCs are unregulated they can come from fun places like the Chernobyl blast site. Not kidding. "Ovruch Milk Canning Integrated Works" in Ukraine sells MPC to various US producers. Even China rejects this radioactive milk powder (see The Milkweed, Nov-Dec 1999). Yet these carcinogen MPCs are used in infant formula!

How MPCs are made

There is no standard way of making MPC. There is no list of ingredients or approved process. MPC is anything.

Industry rebuttal:

Like many other factors affecting dairy economics, it's hard to get a handle on the impact of MPCs without having at least a little technical background. Milk protein concentrate is simply skim milk, filtered through a series of membranes which separate out most of the water, lactose and other nonfat milk solids. The remaining concentrate, which can be further dried into a powdered form, is used in a variety of food and non-food applications because of the protein value it offers. MPC is used to enhance the protein level of pet foods, sports beverages, energy bars-- and it can also be used in the production of some cheeses.
Jerry Kozack, National Milk Producers Federation

Reality: There is no standard FDA definition of MPC. MPC could be and legally is anything.

The food industry generally expects MPCs to be made with old milk and ultrafiltration. According to an experiment done by Dr. W. James Harper at Ohio State University's Department of Food Science, filtration causes protein polymerization. Mmm... plastic.

What's the result?

Kraft calls it "Mac & Cheese" or "Singles", i.e., single slices of cheese. The FDA turns a blind eye to labels equating MPCs with cheese or milk. But what are they legally?

"Prepared Cheese Product".

Think about that for a minute. Anything that originates in cheese is technically a cheese product. Mold is a cheese product.

Do you feel safe eating your EasyMac now?

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