Dont Be Fooled--Calcium Content in Soy and Rice Milk Misleading
March 02, 2005
The Department of Agriculture recommends the consumption of 1,000
to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, depending on age and gender.
Due to a variety of reasons, 30 million to 50 million Americans
have shied away from cow’s milk and have turned to calcium-fortified
beverages--like soy and rice milks--as alternative sources.
Yet according to studies, the actual amount of calcium available
in these fortified drinks can be as much as 85 percent less than
the amount indicated on the product label. This is because the calcium
can settle out of the soy and rice beverages and form a calcium-sludge
on the bottom of the carton.
Thus, shaking before pouring these beverages
is crucial in order to:
- Avoid calcium settlement
- Obtain the intended calcium amount per serving
It was noted that calcium settlement is less of a problem in those
beverages kept in the refrigerated dairy case of the grocery store,
rather than in cartons stored on non-refrigerated shelves. Also,
while calcium in cow’s milk occurs naturally, it must be added
to soy and rice beverages (and even orange juice) in the form of
finely ground calcium powders; soluble calcium cannot be used as
Today February 15, 2005