Is There Milk in Wonder Bread?

Written by: Kelly Donovan

Wonder Bread is a highly recognizable pre-sliced bread company that has been around for almost 100 years.

However, a quick scan of the ingredients list would suggest that this bread isn’t for everyone.

Wonder Bread is listed as containing milk at the bottom of the label, but there are no specific milk products in the ingredients.

As it turns out, Wonder Bread isn’t dairy free, although the ingredients don’t directly credit any milk-related product in the bread. 

Does Wonder Bread Contain Milk?

As of a few years ago, the answer would be a definitive yes, since the ingredients list for Wonder Bread listed the ingredient whey, a common additive to baked goods. However, whey has since been removed from the ingredients list, leaving no other definable milk products in Wonder Bread.

The back of the packet still says “Contains Milk,” so it’s likely that the industrial machines used to process the bread or a byproduct of one of the ingredients is made with or filtered by a milk product.

wonder bread ingredients on package

With this in mind, Wonder Bread isn’t suitable for people with severe dairy allergies.

Concerning Ingredients in Wonder Bread

If you’re avoiding milk products as part of a vegan diet, then Wonder Bread has some other ingredients you should be aware of.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL)

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is an agent used in baked goods to prevent staling as a versatile emulsifier. It also strengthens the dough and makes the crumbs softer. 

It contains lactic acid and stearic acid, which can be sourced from animals.

Lactic acid is sometimes sourced from milk, which could be why the “Contains Milk” warning is on the bottom of the ingredients list. Stearic acid can be sourced from animal fat or as a product of the hydrogenation of unsaturated vegetable oils.

Monoglycerides and Diglycerides

Glycerol can be sourced from plants or animals, and each company operates by a different policy in making their mono and diglycerides.

It only composes a tiny fraction of the bread (as low as 0.1%), but in some cases, it still constitutes an animal byproduct.


Lecithin, sourced from plants or animals, can be used to smooth food textures and emulsify.

In many cases, producers will use soy or sunflower seeds, but some lecithin is sourced from eggs, indicating that Wonder Bread might contain other types of dairy than just regular milk.

wonder bread in grocery store

Final Thoughts

Wonder Bread is not milk-free, although it’s clear that the milk comprises a tiny amount of the total mixture.

If you’re just trying to avoid foods with high milk content, then Wonder Bread shouldn’t be a concern.

However, if you have a severe dairy allergy, Wonder Bread might still pose a serious risk of anaphylactic reactions in certain people.

There are plenty of bread and dairy alternatives for everyone’s dietary preferences. Here’s a list of bread options that don’t contain milk or other dairy products.

About the Author

Kelly Donovan is a freelance writer. She enjoys helping people reach their wellness goals by educating them about how food plays a role in their health.