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Saturday, June 05, 2010

MooTopia: Designer Lactose-Free Milk

Whenever you think of members of Congress taking exotic junkets to some tropical resort or luxury hotel, think upon this. Work has already begun on the 2012 Farm Bill. And members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee went to Lubbock, TX last month to attend the seventh in a series of field hearings on the Texas Tech University campus. That's not glamorous, not sexy, and not calculated to get their names on cable news.

A story by Jerry Lackey covering the hearings for the San Angelo, TX Standard-Times featured Brad Bouma, a fifth-generation dairy farmer from Plainview in the Texas Panhandle. Bouma has another distinction. He "also serves as president of Select Milk Producers Inc., a marketing cooperative owned by dairy farmers who have dairies in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas."

And what milk does Select Milk make? Bouma said:

"Through patented technology, Select has developed the means to create 'designer milks.' High quality milk fresh from the farm goes through several filtration processes separating the fat from the protein, from the sugars, from the calcium and other solids from the water. These then are recombined in different ratios to provide a different profile of milk."

The lactose, is also removed, converted to two simple sugars, glucose and galactose.

"For six years, H-E-B has been marketing one such milk in Texas," Bouma said. "This milk is produced by Select Milk and bottled by H-E-B at its plants in Texas. This designer milk, called 'Mootopia,' has more protein and more calcium (all fresh from cow’s milk) but with fewer carbohydrates. This lactose-free milk still tastes the same sweetness as regular milk."

I don't understand this, since glucose and galactose are still carbohydrates and are sweeter than regular milk, but Lackey may have left a step out of the process.

But the answer is surely at the Select Milk website, right?

Wrong. If you drill in several levels, you come to a .pdf labeled designer milk for women.

It's not immediately obvious that this is the same milk as MooTopia, but it sure seems close. A story on the website by David Phillips lists the attributes of MooTopia:
In 2005, H.E. Butt Grocery Co. (H-E-B), based here on the Texas Gulf Coast introduced MooTopia, milk that features 60% less sugar, 35% more calcium, 75% more protein and 4g carbohydrates, per serving.

MooTopia is also lactose free, and it is substantially creamier and more flavorful than traditional milk, according to H-E-B. The company says taste tests show that MooTopia skim milk is creamier than traditional 2% milk, while MooTopia 2% is creamier than traditional whole milk.

H-E-B, along with partner Select Milk Producers Inc., Artesia, N.M., patented the process.

Designer milk for Women claims 175% More Protein; 60% Less Sugar; 160% More Calcium; and 100% Lactose Free. What happens when you match them up? Claims are made for the same nutrients. Both have 60% less sugar. MooTopia has 75% more protein which would be the same if what Designer Milk meant was that its protein is 175% of the protein in standard milk. The calcium percentages are harder to reconcile. 35% more is not quite the same as saying 160% of the original calcium. 4g of carbohydrate may be 100 lactose free, however. Otherwise, why two separate lactose-free designer milks? That's not as big a question as asking why MooTopia never appears by name at the Select Milk website, though. That one baffles me. MooTopia goes back five or six years. You should be able to find out more about it much more easily. People still write about it. Dairy Business News had a major article on it and another designer milk, Athlete's Honey Milk, made by the same people, as recently as January 2010.

Where is it marketed? Who buys it? What does it taste like? All seems steeped in mystery.

And that's not the only Mootopia mystery. More next time.

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Unknown said...

What is the difference between Mootopia and Smart Balance Lactose Free milk with omega's. I was concerned with Mootopia because the first ingredient is Reduced Sugar.

Noah said...

I've been a huge fan of mootopia for almost two years now. In that time I've seen my body fat percentage drop from 16 to 11% and my strength substantially increase, to the point of being able to press up into a handstand much like the ones being performed on the front of the packaging.

The milk really does taste even better then whole milk. It's delicious, and it's so very good for you. It's also very easy to change from weight gain to weight loss by replacing the 2% with skim. My only complaints are the lack of a gallon size at any HEB here in Austin, and the lack of a whole milk variety. I highly recommend the product.

Anonymous said...

Love Mootopia. Came here looking for it, since we have moved out of HEB's market area. GREAT stuff....I drive out of my way (into SE Texas to get some).

Anonymous said...

I'm from Texas and I buy mootopia, it's freaking amazing. I actually think it's less sweet, but that's from comparing it to lactose-free milk. I actually enjoy it's low-sugar taste, though it took a bit of getting used to.

I like mootopia, (and HEB in general) so much it makes me scared to ever leave Texas.

SpareFoot said...

The first ingredient in Mootopia isn't "reduced sugar." What does that even mean to you? Has it been reduced over high heat, like a white wine sauce?

No, the commas here have confused you. The first ingredient is "reduced sugar, high protein, reduced fat milk." One ingredient - kind of confusing.

Anonymous said...

I had gotten into the habit of using only organically produced milk but switched to Mootopia when I saw it has less sugar and more protein. I wish they would produce it organically!

Anonymous said...

Where does one in nebraska get it, or what is comparable?

Anonymous said...

Mootopia is a godsend for my wife and I. I'm lactose intolerant, she's Type I diabetic. Our refrigerator always contained two or three different "milks". Unflavored soy or almond milk for her (low carb) and lactose free cow's milk for me (so I didn't have to suffer the punishment of unflavored soy/almond milk).

Until ewe's milk becomes a normal grocery store offering, Mootopia will continue to be the milk we can both enjoy.

Evan Ralston said...

Bellyaches begone! This stuff is delicious! I feel so lucky to live in Austin, and for this stuff to be everywhere. I didn't even realize all the additional health benefits that it has - just that it's the best tasting milk I've ever had. The wateriness of almond milk and rice milk always turned me off. Mootopia is so creamy and full-bodied. "Designer Milk"? Who knew?!