Do Oreos Contain Milk (+ how to make Oreos at home!)

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “do Oreos contain milk?”, and will be discussing whether Oreos are dairy-free, vegan, or gluten-free, along with what goes into making an Oreo at home and its health profile.

Do Oreos Contain Milk?

The answer to this question isn’t that straightforward. Oreos contain milk as ‘cross-contact’, which means that a small quantity of milk could have made contact with the equipment used to make the cookies or the cookies themselves. 

A variety of practices can result in cross-contact, including improper production sequencing on equipment, which carries allergenic proteins into the next product, inadequate cleaning of shared processing and/or packaging equipment between products, contamination of nonallergenic foods by airborne dust and aerosols of allergenic foods caused by static electricity and by use of compressed air to clean equipment, and the existence of crossover points on production machinery where allergenic ingredients or foods fall from one production line onto product on another production line (1).

So even though the ingredients don’t state milk and other dairy products, the presence of cross-contact milk, unfortunately, makes Oreos a non-vegan-friendly treat.

Is Oreo Dairy?

At present, Original Oreo Sandwich Cookies, Mini Original Oreo Sandwich Cookies, Oreo Original Mega Stuff, and Oreo Double Stuff Sandwich Cookies, do not contain dairy ingredients; however, they are produced on dairy equipment.

Which Oreos Contain Milk?

Although there are hundreds of product variations, we found that these Oreos actually DO contain milk:

Fudge Covered

Mint Fudge Covered

White Fudge Covered

Thin Bites Fudge Dipped

Thin Bites White Fudge Dipped

Why Do Oreos Require A Kosher Dairy Certification?

Oreos require a kosher dairy certification since their dairy and non-dairy varieties are produced in a shared facility. This makes it compulsory for the kosher certifier to have a dairy certification.

The Kosher Certification in the food industry is required to prevent fraud. The industrial revolution gave rise to an increasing volume and variety of processed and prepared foods sold in a nationwide mass market. Jewish consumers created a demand for kosher certification of these industrially processed and prepared foods. The nature of kosher certification of most packaged foods greatly reduces the incentives for fraud (2).

Previously, only the original Oreo flavors were non-dairy, but presently, most of their flavors are made without dairy. However, there is always the risk of cross-contamination.

So, if you’re worried about any potential cross-contamination with milk, reach out to the company and learn about their handling and manufacturing processes.

Is Oreo Gluten-Free?

Yes, gluten-free oreo cookies are now available. As of recently, Nabisco unveiled certified gluten-free Oreo Cookies in two varieties – Gluten-Free Original and Gluten-Free Double Stuf.

What Is The Oreo Filling Made Of?

The official recipe for Oreo filling is obviously confidential. However, as per the process of elimination, the ingredients that go into an Oreo’s filling include:

sugar

high fructose corn syrup

soy lecithin

artificial flavor

palm and/or canola oil

sweetener

Emulsifier

And here’s an interesting fact that might surprise you: the filling inside an Oreo isn’t cream at all! In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits Nabisco from claiming that its product contains ‘cream’ – that’s why they call it creme instead.

Is Oreo Healthy?

Even though gluten-free options are now available, Oreos are not a healthy snack at all. Certain flavors of Oreos contain significantly high amounts of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.

Oreos also contain certain genetically-engineered ingredients, such as a hidden sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, an emulsifier extracted from soybeans, and soy lecithin.

Eating too many Oreos over days and weeks can potentially lead to various health problems such as heart disease, obesity, high blood sugar and cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that saturated fats can raise levels of total serum cholesterol, thereby putatively increasing the risk of atherosclerotic coronary heart disease. Diets high in sugar may induce many other abnormalities associated with elevated cardiovascular disease risk, including elevated levels of glucose, insulin, and uric acid, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin and leptin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and altered platelet function. A diet high in added sugars has been found to cause a 3-fold increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease (3).

But don’t worry; here’s a simple recipe you can use to make delicious Oreo cookies at home and skip all the hazardous ingredients!

Ingredients for the Cookie

One cup unsalted butter (225 g, softened)

One cup white sugar (200 g)

Two teaspoons salt

Two large eggs

Two cups all-purpose flour (250 g)

One and ¼ cups dark cocoa powder (150 g)

Half teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for the Cream Filling

Half cup butter (115 g, softened)

Two cups powdered sugar (240 g)

One teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Mix one cup of softened butter, white sugar, and salt in a large bowl till the consistency is light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs till the mixture is homogenized.

Add to this mix sieved flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and blend well.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients till fully combined.

Place the dough on a flat surface and push it into the shape of a square. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius). Take the dough out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to about one-fourth-inch thickness.

Use a round cookie cutter or the rim of a champagne glass to cut the dough into small rounds. Place the cut cookies at a distance of about half an inch on a large parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake the dough in the preheated oven for at least 15 minutes.

For the filling, mix half a cup of softened butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Beat till the icing looks light and fluffy.

Remove the cookies from the oven and spread a generous amount of the icing on one cookie while sandwiching it with another. Scrape off any excess icing to even out the sides, and enjoy with a glass of cold milk!

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question, “do Oreos contain milk?” and discussed whether Oreos are dairy-free, vegan, or gluten-free, along with what goes into making an Oreo at home and its health profile.

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.

References

  1. Jackson, Lauren S., et al. Cleaning and other control and validation strategies to prevent allergen cross-contact in food-processing operations. J Food Protec, 2008, 71, 445-458.
  2. Lytton, Timothy D. Jewish foodways and religious self-governance in America: the failure of communal kashrut regulation and the rise of private kosher certification. Jewish Quart Rev, 2014, 104, 38-45.
  3. DiNicolantonio, James J., Sean C. Lucan, and James H. O’Keefe. The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease. Progress cardio dis, 2016, 58, 464.