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Nondairy creamers are liquid or granular substances intended to substitute for milk or cream as an additive to coffee or other beverages. They do not contain lactose and therefore are commonly described as not being dairy products (although many contain a milk-derived protein).
The first commercial powdered creamer was "Pream", first marketed in 1952 and made from dehydrated cream and sugar. It had the problem of not dissolving easily because of the protein in the milk. Six years later, in 1958, the Carnation Company developed a product that easily dissolved in hot liquid because it replaced most of the milk fat with vegetable oil, and reduced the milk protein. The new product was marketed under the Carnation label with the brand name "Coffee-Mate".
To replicate the mouthfeel of milk fats, nondairy creamers often contain vegetable-based fats, although nonfat nondairy creamers/whiteners also exist. Other common ingredients include corn syrup and other sweeteners or/and flavourings (such as French vanilla and hazelnut); as well as sodium caseinate, a milk protein derivative (from casein) that does not contain lactose. The use of a milk derivative prompts some individuals and organisations - such as vegans and Jewish dietary law authorities - to classify the product as "dairy" rather than nondairy. Those who rely on this classification will either not consume the product (e.g. vegans) or will not use or consume it in conjunction with any meat products (e.g. observant Jews).
Nontraditional uses 
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Experiments show that powdered coffee creamer will ignite in midair , and large quantities make beautiful and aromatic fireballs. The amateur film scene has jumped on this opportunity to create Hollywood-style explosions on a low budget. All one needs is nondairy creamer, an ignition source, such as a burning coal or a road flare, and a way to propel the creamer, such as compressed air or a bicycle pump. One of the key advantages in using coffee creamer is that it only burns in midair; as soon as the creamer touches the ground, it goes out, making coffee creamer a much safer alternative to using gasoline.
Coffee creamer has also been used to whiten clothes (after mixing it with water to form a soaking solution), defoam fish tanks, and clean dry erase boards, as well as for creating fake snow in television and movies.
See also 
- Carolyn Wyman. Better than homemade: amazing foods that changed the way we eat. Quirk Books, 2004. p. 61. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- "Wired 15.01: START". www.wired.com. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- "MythBusters (2008 season) Sawdust Cannon". Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- "Detonation Films - Why Coffee Creamer?". Retrieved March 20, 2011.