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Soymilk or soy drink?

Soymilk (or soy milk or soya milk) does not exist in Europe! At least, you don't see the name "soymilk" on cartons containing milky beverages made from soybeans. Soymilk is labelled all over the world as "soymilk", except in European countries where legislation prohibits the use of the word "milk" for drinks that are not made from mammary secretions. Council Regulation 1234/2007 clearly specifies that "the term milk shall mean exclusively the normal mammary secretions obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom". The same regulation also limits the use of other popular designations, such as cream, cheese and yoghurt for products derived from mammary milk. This regulation is clearly created to protect the dairy industry and to make life of the soy industry a bit more difficult. Other food products using the name milk, such as coconut milk and almond milk, are tolerated and granted an exception, obviously because these milks are not competing directly with mammary milk.

Reaction of consumers

Most consumers aren't aware of this legislation and even haven't noticed the special name "soy drink". They simple call it "soymilk" and know its specific composition and properties.

Reaction of the soy industry

Since soy food producers cannot use a name which is common to consumers and which describes the nature of the product, they have to be creative about the name of their products. We haven't' seen any trespassers on the European market labelling their soy drink as "soy milk". Most of the time, they use the denomination "soy drink" and in France they even have a special word, tonyu. Soy yoghurt is often labelled as "vegetable alternative of yoghurt" and soy cheese as "dairy-free alternative to cheese". ENSA, the European Association of Natural Soyfoods Manufacturers expresses its concern as regards the provision of Regulation 1234/2007 and calls on the European Commission and Member States to grant an exemption for "soymilk" and allow the usage of the term "soymilk".



Any drink from somewhere other than a mammary gland IS NOT MILK. soy beans do not have mammary glands and therefore can not excrete soy milk. It is soy drink, almond drink, and rice drink. You veg heads like to act as if you have the corner on honest info about food but keep abusing the word milk. Just makes people think you are all hypocrites.
getitright - 14/02/2014


Everyone uses the name soy milk, even if the package says soy drink. It is hypocrite of the dairy industry to protect the word milk (fortunately only in Europe). People use the word milk, to describe something that looks like milk: thistle milk, latex milk, mosquito milk, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, and also soy milk. What's is wrong with that?

Rob - 14/02/2014

soya milk

I want to business of soya milk and paneer. Bt Im facing a big problem in marketing.My Probs. are soya odor (smell) and oily test in milk therefor I m fail in selling.
Dear sir, I want any helpful suggetion for me. I want some ans of my questions...
1. Which enzyme responsable for oily test in milk and how can remove it ?
2. What is the reson of odor in soya milk and hw can solve it ?
3. What is the reson of yello color, and hw can change in white color ?
GAURAV MITTAL - 04/09/2014


I wish they'd overturn this stupid, outdated and biased ruling. Other definitions of milk:
"The white juice of certain plants: coconut milk"
"creamy-textured liquid with a particular ingredient or use, such as cleansing milk"
Dairy milk is just one kind out of many. Attempts to restrict language to prioritise certain industries smacks of 1984.
Altheus - 09/09/2015

The OED's definition 2 of milk as plant-based is over 600 years old. That's authority. Dairy milk is one type of milk; plant milk another. Simple. Let's just always add a prefix to "milk" to clarify it. Dairy milk. Oat milk. Coconut milk. Soya milk. Almond milk. All clear then. Everyone is happy.
Milky Milky - 19/01/2017

Milk and all its goodness

Who gets to be the standard in a product. No one should be able to "Label" something and have it monopolised. If it is nourishing it becomes a adjective and then a description and then a product that is usuable. A name is name.. simply because it does not come from mammory gland is it not milk. hmmm. one for the higher minds I guess. It is really how you perceive it.
Francesca Couch - 15/04/2018

Are you sure?

I live in Europe and soy milk is definitely a thing?
Ana - 14/06/2018

Its milk okay?

Literally can't believe how upset you lot are getting over this. its f... milk okay? soy milk is milk. almond milk is milk. coconut milk IS MILK. SO SHUT UP
guest - 10/10/2018

soya milk powder

We are willing and ready to purchase soya milk powder in a bulk quantity, so please we request you send us your product offer and price and please contact me
Mr godwin
godwin - 09/10/2019

In spanish it is easier

Because the word "Milk" is for the liquid from mammary secretions than the liquid of the nuts.
The word "Drink" in Spanish is correct too for the liquid of the nuts.
Finally in Spanish both "Soy Drink" or "Soy Milk" is correct. But in English do not exist a word with the meaning "Liquid of nuts with water" like in Spanish.
Natalia - 03/11/2019

What about cream?

I understand the Dairy Lobby is worried that their ill treatment of animals and the dubious long term effects of their products has forced them to take action about the use of the word 'milk' in a desperate attempt to shunt falling sales, so will their next step be to forbid the use of the word 'cream' unless it has been produced from milk. Will we have 'Hand Thick Liquid' instead of 'Hand Cream'? Will we be allowed to say 'Cream of the crop" anymore? And what about 'Shaving Cream'? Will men now be forced to have. only shaving foam!?

In shops and cafés people will still ask for Soya milk or almond milk unless we descend into some Orwellian Newspeak nightmare.
Coglet - 10/11/2019

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