Why drink Ovaltine ? Ovaltine Chocolate Malt, in short ‘Ovaltine’ is a popular powdered chocolate milk drink brand. Known by its distinctive orange packaging and sweet cocoa aroma. A malt based, chocolaty drink that has around 110 years of heritage, from being the first complete milk fortifier powder, now to a beverage drink for kids to adults, even growing to a snack brand, ingredient for baking, and even in experimental drinks. In this article we’ll get to know the truth about Ovaltine and if Ovaltine is good for you?
“Ovaltine” or “Ovomaltine” which was what it was first called, got its name from the list of ingredients, being a mix of the ‘egg’ and ‘malt’. The Original Ovaltine drink or formula contains a mixture of cocoa powder, milk powder, barley malt, glucose or corn syrup (depending on the country), whey protein, yeast, honey, and egg. While the newer or recent Ovaltine ingredients list is now composed of malt and barley extract, sugar, maltodextrin, milk solids, cocoa, vitamin and minerals, mineral salts, and vegetable oil.
Developed by Georg Wander, in a laboratory that produced malt sugar, which was then passed down to his son Albert Wander in 1897, who created the beverage with soluble malt-extract in 1904. It was during this time that shelf-stable products were becoming more common, an example being the instant soup. The malt drink could only be purchased in Switzerland, and was sold in pharmacies bought by people who needed rest for the body and soul. It got commercialized in the 1920’s, marketed as a family friendly health drink. The company was traded and sold to many, with its home base still in Switzerland called ‘Ovomaltine’, but is more familiarly sold by Nestle in the US and other parts of the world as ‘Ovaltine’.
A drink drunk only by the upper and middle class, and was only marketed to the lower class at the end of the 1920’s. Advertised as a sport drink or for ‘volksgesundheit’ or for the ‘health of the citizens’. Drinking Ovomaltine was even seen as a patriotic act during World War II, these were included as part of the emergency rations to help with vitamin deficiency.
Nowadays, it’s known as an Ovaltine chocolate drink for kids, still drunk and beloved by adults. A breakfast beverage, an afternoon pick me up, made into creative iced drinks, added into desserts like pancakes, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods, with the company even making snack versions, examples being the energy bars like the Ovolino bar, chocolate tablets called ‘ovaltinies’, crackers and many more.
Is Ovaltine good for you ?
Does Ovaltine have any benefits? Branded as ‘nutritious and delicious’. Being a brand with a rich history almost up to 110 plus years, it might have changed its ingredients in some ways, but it is still given a warm response to many who have a fond childhood memory of this sweet drink. Still, this is why you should drink Ovaltine :
- A serving of Ovaltine is equal to 20% of the daily vitamin A needed by the body, which helps with carotenoids for the eyes, and retinoids to keep the skin and immune system functioning well.
- Does ovaltine help you sleep ? A good source of Vitamin B that helps create energy to the body, as well as improve the quality of children and adult’s sleep cycles.
- Has Vitamin D and calcium, being a milk based drink, these keeps the bones strong, to avoid aging problems like osteoporosis.
- Gives the body a good helping of copper that is needed to produce red and white blood cells to carry oxygen in the blood.
* Ovaltine side effects : More of a chocolatey treat than a nutritional supplement nowadays, there may be some complications especially to those who drink a lot of this sweet drink. These do have a high concentration of sugar, drinking too much a day may cause type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Do try to limit the intake as per prescribed serving.
Why drink Ovaltine vs. other milks
Ovaltine vs. Milo
Two popular drinks known around the world, Milo is more of a chocolate malt drink, has a bit of caffeine and is made with milk and malt. While Ovaltine is a malt beverage that is milk chocolate flavored and is caffeine free.
Ovaltine vs Horliks
Both malted drinks, the only difference being that Ovaltine has cocoa powder in the list of ingredients, while Horlicks isn’t similar in taste despite being used interchangeably because it does not have cocoa powder.
Ovaltine’s domination in the Philippines
Ovaltine was once one of the biggest go-to milk powder beverages. Dominating almost every grocery store, canteens, and sari-sari stores. Nowadays, you might find it a bit harder to find, with the best option being older supermarkets, online stores like Shopee and Lazada, or online grocery websites. Distributed in the Philippines by the AB Food and Beverages Phils Inc. that not only produce Ovaltine but Twinings. A beverage drunk by everyone hot or iced, you can also find them in shakes, iced candy and other drinks or desserts such as Ovaltine cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream, an ingredient in making chocolate or Ovaltine pandesal and any recipes as an alternative to cocoa.