enter image description here The label says all 7g sugar are added but there is no sugar in the ingredients.
I know oats do have naturally occurring sugars.
The brand is oat from Costco: enter image description here
I've noticed the Califia Barista Oat milk brand has only 3g sugar / 240 ml.

So is there added sugar ?


Seems like this is a thing in the Oat Milk world, these guys went even further:

enter image description here

  • 2
    it is good policy to wait 24 hours or so before accepting an answer in case someone posts a better one. Mine covers the basics but someone may delve into the chemistry here. Mar 29, 2020 at 18:02
  • @JamesMcLeod I was just considering writing more about this as it inadvertently raise many key points... but I feel it might be overkill.
    – josh
    Mar 30, 2020 at 11:37
  • 1
    @josh you should. The answer took me completely by surprise, and I think people would like to know a bit more - I know I would. Mar 30, 2020 at 11:56
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    i would like to remind everybody to read the whole question before answering. Answers which simply repeat what the ingredient list says, or what the nutrition facts say, without addressing the apparent discrepancy, will be deleted as not addressing the question.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 31, 2020 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


They are from the oats, which contain no sugar as a raw ingredient. Processing them to make milk converts some of the starch to sugar, so it is counted as added sugar as it does not appear in the raw ingredient.

From an article entitled Oatly challenged over “no added sugars” claim:

... the enzymatic process it uses to create its base oat milk (water + oats) effectively “creates sugars in situ” by breaking down oat starch into simple sugars. ... All oats in an oat beverage are processed, therefore all the naturally occurring sugars in the final product are considered added.

The same article provides an update about this from the FDA specific to the Nutrition Facts Label:

In our Nutrition Facts Label Q&A guidance issued in November 2017, we addressed sugars created through processes such as hydrolysis: When an ingredient containing mono- and disaccharides that are created through controlled hydrolosys... is added to a food during processing, those mono- and disaccharides contributed by the ingredient need to be declared as added sugars on the label.


The other answer is correct, but it should be noted that it is not the processing inherent to making oatmilk that breaks these starches into sugars, it's extra processing, as they noted, through enzymes. In my experience, Pacific foods oatmilk is by far the sweetest oatmilk, even though they also have no sugar ingredient. Different sugar levels from almost none to cloying can be had from just the oats, so I guess you just have to check the nutrition facts every time.

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