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Frequently asked questions

FAQ

E numbers

E numbers refer to a code which is used to number and label the currently approved food additives. This code applies as standard in all Member States of the European Union (EU). E numbers stand for certain food additives which improve characteristics such as appearance, perishability and taste, or which are intended to make technical processing easier. By law, food additives may only be used if they are approved. Approval is only granted if the substance and its application have been proved not to represent a safety concern to the health of consumers. Safety assessments of additives are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The international FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) performs additional safety assessments.

If a food manufacturer uses additives, these are stated in the list of ingredients with a class name that indicates the purpose of their use, followed by their chemical name or their E number. Since the chemical names are sometimes very long, the E numbers are used as a kind of shorthand.

It should be noted that E numbers can also represent substances occurring naturally in foods. For example, riboflavin (vitamin B2, E 101) is found in milk, l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E 300) in apples, and the colour carotene (E 160a) in carrots.

Fat content in dry matter

In general, we work with two different specifications: absolute fat content and fat content in dry matter, because apart from the solid components ("dry matter"), cheese naturally contains water as well. The absolute fat content describes the proportion of fat in the total product. The fat content in the dry matter, in contrast, describes the proportion of fat contained in the solid components of the product. In addition to fat, these include, for example, protein, carbohydrates and minerals.

Let's explain by taking the example of our MILRAM FrühlingsQuark (herb curd):

For our MILRAM FrühlingsQuark, for example, the fat content is 10g/100g. That means an absolute fat content of 10%. In relation to the dry matter in MILRAM FrühlingsQuark, the fat content is 40%, in other words, 40% of these dry components is fat (-40% fat in dry matter).

For cheese in particular, as a product which is in a constant state of change from production to consumption because of chemical and bacterial ripening processes, it makes a lot of sense to state the fat in dry matter. Because the loss of volatile substances like water leads to constant changes in the absolute fat content. In contrast, the ratio of fat to fat-free dry matter remains largely constant. The specification fat in dry matter was therefore laid down by law in the German Cheese Ordinance, which also applies to curd.

Gluten on the label

The use of cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, oats etc.) or products made from them as ingredients in the production of a food must be stated on the label for the protection of consumers with food sensitivities (mandatory under the German food labelling ordinance). For example, if a wheat starch is used the list of ingredients has to say not just "starch", but "wheat starch".

Iodised salt

According to German food legislation, the use of iodised salt must always be declared on a product's packaging. You can therefore tell from the list of ingredients whether iodised salt has been used in the product.

Rennet

Only microbial rennet is used in the manufacture of our products. That means our products are suitable for a lacto-vegetarian diet.

Lactose

DMK offers lactose-free products in its range of sliceable and hard cheeses. Freedom from lactose is achieved during cheese production by lactic acid bacteria and by the separation of the whey from the cheese. The natural ripening phase reduces the lactose content, most of which has been converted by that time, to a residue of generally less than 0.1g/100g. This allows all DMK sliceable and hard cheeses to be designated as "lactose free" under German rules.

Product samples

Most MILRAM products need to be kept under temperature-controlled conditions by law, and therefore cannot be sent out by normal post.

Raw milk products

Our product range does not include any raw milk products. Harmful germs are removed in advance from the milk that DMK uses to manufacture fresh dairy products by the process of pasteurisation.

In addition, raw milk products are subject to special labelling, which means that "made from raw milk" has to be indicated on the product.

The use of genetic engineering in foods

DMK does not use any ingredients in foods that consist of a genetically modified organism (GMOs), contain a genetically modified organism or have been produced from such an organism. Materials subject to labelling requirements in accordance with EU regulations nos. 1829/2003 and 1830/2003 of 22 September 2003 may not be used.

Over and above the legal requirements on traceability, DMK demands binding confirmation from its suppliers that the ingredients delivered do not consist of a genetically modified organism (GMO), do not contain a genetically modified organism and have not been produced from such an organism.

Quality at DMK

Milk is one of the most valuable natural products there is. DMK is aware of its responsibility in this regard. That’s why quality assurance from the farmyard to the supermarket shelf has been one of our corporate principles for many years. Ensuring animal health and milk quality has top priority at DMK on all levels of production, and is guaranteed by a wide range of control mechanisms.

For one thing, the responsible veterinary offices perform the statutory random tests at all dairy farms in Germany.

Additional on-site checks by DMK field staff (milk producer consultants) ensure perfect animal health, which is the prerequisite for high-quality raw milk.

Furthermore, the milk delivered is tested for quality first at the farm, then on the milk collection vehicle and finally at the processor’s laboratory. If any irregularities were to occur, this end-to-end control system would enable DMK to spot and eliminate quality defects.

he DMK quality management system, which is certified to international standards, is an important element guaranteeing quality throughout the production process.

Animal welfare

Because DMK is a company owned by farmers, it gives top priority to quality assurance along the value chain from the farm to the retailer's shelf. Animal health is a crucial factor in high milk quality. Most of our farms allow their dairy cattle space to roam around and/or put them out to pasture in the summer. That’s because one key to ensuring healthy cattle is exercise. In addition, our farmers provide free stall housing for their cattle, which is used particularly in the winter period.