What's In Your Coconut Milk Ingrediants-min

Fancy a Serve of Polyoxethylene Sorbitan Monostearate With Your Coconut Milk?

Following on from yesterdays post on Coconut Milk & Coconut Cream, I’ve found out a few things about those added ingredients.  Seemingly innocuous names such as E435 hide chemicals I quite simply would rather not consume.  I’ll take the coconut milk with the huge layer of cream on top, thanks.

What's In Your Coconut Milk Ingrediants-min

Stabilizer E466 (or just 466):  Also known as Carboxymethyl Cellulose

This is used as a thicking agent, a filler, anti clumping agent and an emulsifier.  As well as its use in food, Carboxymethyl Cellulose is also used in ceramics, detergents & textiles.  It is derived from cellulose (as found in wood & plant structures) which is chemically modified.  It isn't possible to find out the source directly, but it could come from genetically engineered cotton plants.

Vegetable gum (412) or Emulsifier, E412:  More commonly known as Guar gum

Guar Gum is often added as a thickener to avoid the contents of the tin separating.  Guar Gum is made from the seed of the Cyamopsis tetragonoloba shrub, which is a legume  The seeds are dehusked, milled & screened to produce an off white powder. I think I’d rather deal with the natural separation of the coconut milk.

Emulsifier E435:  Also known as Polyoxethylene sorbitan monostearate, Polysorbate 60, or Tween 60
This chemical compound is created from ethylene oxide (a synthetic compound), sorbitol and palmitic acid.  One of the main issues appears to be that the origin of these components is not easy to find out, but may be include “vegetable” oils.   I’ve not been able to find any relevant studies, but there are lots of mentions of cancer when discussing this additive.

Thickener E415, also known as Xanthin gum

This thickener is created from fermenting corn sugar with a bacterium.  It may also use wheat, dairy or soy.  As with all of these additives it is very hard to determine exactly how the chemical was derived.

Do you know more about these additives?  Are you happy to consume a small amount of these additives to get coconut milk into your diet?  Let me know in the comments below.

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8 replies
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      I’ll have to look out for that brand Megan. What I don’t understand is, if it’s possible to produce it without all the chemicals – why can’t they all make it that way?! Surely everyone would rather have the pure version and not the chemicals?!

      • Laura
        Laura says:

        I’m afraid also Aroy D coconut milk contain Polyoxethylene Sorbitan Monostearate (E435) as it can be read in the label added for the European exportation: coconut extract 60%, water, emulsifier E435. I found curious that in the original label, produced in Vietnam, the ingredients declared are only coconut extract and water, without any mention of the emulsifier.

  1. Joe
    Joe says:

    Interesting article, thanks. Personally, I don’t mind the chemicals- after all, everything is made of chemicals of some sort, natural or man made.

    • Suz
      Suz says:

      I think there’s a big difference between synthetic chemicals that aren’t naturally contained in food – and the natural foods themselves. But whatever makes you happy Joe!

  2. Herblady
    Herblady says:

    Xanthum gum is nasty.Its made from the black slimy mold that grows on broccoli. This is then fed on genetically modified high fructose corn syrup. This produces a thickened substance which is then used as a thickener in lots of products. It’s often used in place of gluten in gluten free products and in cakes biscuits breads baked goods etc. Give me whole food any day.If you can trust the label,ayam coconut milks are the only ones that are ok to consume. They contain no additives.

  3. Stephanie Furrow
    Stephanie Furrow says:

    Almondmilk (Water, Almonds), Coconut Cream. Contains Less Than 2% of the Following: Vitamin/Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Zinc), Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Monk Fruit Extract.

    Allergen Statement: Contains Almonds.

    Made from non-genetically engineered almonds

    These are the ingredients in Califia Coconut Almond milk, could anyone tell me if any of these are all that bad for you?

  4. Boleslaw Borecki
    Boleslaw Borecki says:

    Brought a can of ‘KATI’ coconut cream at Whole foods. From Thailand. French language label originally. English sticker claimed; coconut extract 70% , water. Peeled the sticker to find the above plus E435. …. Mad!


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