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cow's milk]] Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for infant mammals (including humans who breastfeed) before they are able to digest other types of food. Early- lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to its young and can reduce the risk of many diseases. It contains many other nutrients including protein and lactose. As an agricultural product, milk is extracted from non-human mammals during or soon after pregnancy. Dairy farms produced about 730 million tonnes of milk in 2011, from 260 million dairy cows. India is the world's largest producer of milk, and is the leading exporter of skimmed milk powder, yet it exports few other milk products. The ever increasing rise in domestic demand for dairy products and a large demand-supply gap could lead to India being a net importer of dairy products in the future. The United States, India, China and Brazil are the world's largest exporters of milk and milk products. China and Russia were the world's largest importers of milk and milk products until 2016 when both countries became self-sufficient, contributing to a worldwide glut of milk. Throughout the world, more than six billion people consume milk and milk products. Over 750 million people live in dairy farming households.


The term "milk" comes from "Old English meoluc (West Saxon), milc (Anglian), from Proto-Germanic *meluks "milk" (source also of Old Norse mjolk, Old Frisian melok, Old Saxon miluk, Dutch melk, Old High German miluh, German Milch, Gothic miluks)".http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=milk

Types of consumption

Milk consumption occurs in two distinct overall types: a natural source of nutrition for all infant mammals and a food product obtained from other mammals for consumption by humans of all ages.

Nutrition for infant mammals

In almost all mammals, milk is fed to infants through breastfeeding, either directly or by expressing the milk to be stored and consumed later. The early milk from mammals is called colostrum. Colostrum contains antibodies that provide protection to the newborn baby as well as nutrients and growth factors. The makeup of the colostrum and the period of secretion varies from species to species. For humans, the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and breastfeeding in addition to other food for at least two years. The World Health Organization's infant feeding recommendation WHO, based on "Global strategy on infant and young child feeding" (2002). Retrieved February 8, 2013. In some cultures it is common to breastfeed children for three to five years, and the period may be longer. Fresh goats' milk is sometimes substituted for breast milk, which introduces the risk of the child developing electrolyte imbalances, metabolic acidosis, megaloblastic anemia, and a host of allergic reactions.

Food product for humans

is the dominant breed in industrialized dairy farms today]] In many cultures, especially in the West, humans continue to consume milk beyond infancy, using the milk of other mammals (especially cattle, goats and sheep) as a food product. Initially, the ability to digest milk was limited to children as adults did not produce lactase, an enzyme necessary for digesting the lactose in milk. People therefore converted milk to curd, cheese and other products to reduce the levels of lactose. Thousands of years ago, a chance mutation spread in human populations in Europe that enabled the production of lactase in adulthood. This mutation allowed milk to be used as a new source of nutrition which could sustain populations when other food sources failed. People process milk into a variety of products such as cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, and cheese. Modern industrial processes use milk to produce casein, whey protein, lactose, condensed milk, powdered milk, and many other food-additives and industrial products. Whole milk, butter and cream have high levels of saturated fat. The sugar lactose is found only in milk, forsythia flowers, and a few tropical shrubs. The enzyme needed to digest lactose, lactase, reaches its highest levels in the human small intestine after birth and then begins a slow decline unless milk is consumed regularly. Those groups who do continue to tolerate milk, however, often have exercised great creativity in using the milk of domesticated ungulates, not only of cattle, but also sheep, goats, yaks, water buffalo, horses, reindeer and camels. India is the largest producer and consumer of cattle and buffalo milk in the world.


In food use, the term milk is defined under Codex Alimentarius standards as: "the normal mammary secretion of milking animals obtained from one or more milkings without either addition to it or extraction from it, intended for consumption as liquid milk or for further processing." This definition thereby precludes non-animal products which may resemble milk in color and texture ( milk substitutes) such as soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. The correct name for such products are 'soy beverage', 'rice beverage', etc. relates to milk and milk production, e.g. dairy products. In addition, a substance secreted by pigeons to feed their young is called " crop milk" and bears some resemblance to mammalian milk, although it is not consumed as a milk substitute.

Evolution of lactation

The mammary gland is thought to have derived from apocrine skin glands. It has been suggested that the original function of lactation (milk production) was keeping eggs moist. Much of the argument is based on monotremes (egg-laying mammals). The original adaptive significance of milk secretions may have been nutrition or immunological protection. This secretion gradually became more copious and accrued nutritional complexity over evolutionary time. Tritylodontid cynodonts seem to have displayed lactation, based on their dental replacement patterns.


Humans first learned to consume the milk of other mammals regularly following the domestication of animals during the Neolithic Revolution or the development of agriculture. This development occurred independently in several global locations from as early as 9000–7000 BC in Mesopotamia to 3500–3000 BC in the Americas. People first domesticated the most important dairy animals—cattle, sheep and goats—in Southwest Asia, although domestic cattle had been independently derived from wild aurochs populations several times since. Initially animals were kept for meat, and archaeologist Andrew Sherratt has suggested that dairying, along with the exploitation of domestic animals for hair and labor, began much later in a separate secondary products revolution in the fourth millennium BC. Sherratt's model is not supported by recent findings, based on the analysis of lipid residue in prehistoric pottery, that shows that dairying was practiced in the early phases of agriculture in Southwest Asia, by at least the seventh millennium BC. From Southwest Asia domestic dairy animals spread to Europe (beginning around 7000 BC but did not reach Britain and Scandinavia until after 4000 BC), and South Asia (7000–5500 BC). The first farmers in central Europe and Britain milked their animals. Pastoral and pastoral nomadic economies, which rely predominantly or exclusively on domestic animals and their products rather than crop farming, were developed as European farmers moved into the Pontic-Caspian steppe in the fourth millennium BC, and subsequently spread across much of the Eurasian steppe. Sheep and goats were introduced to Africa from Southwest Asia, but African cattle may have been independently domesticated around 7000–6000 BC. Camels, domesticated in central Arabia in the fourth millennium BC, have also been used as dairy animals in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The earliest Egyptian records of burn treatments describe burn dressings using milk from mothers of male babies. In the rest of the world (i.e., East and Southeast Asia, the Americas and Australia) milk and dairy products were historically not a large part of the diet, either because they remained populated by hunter-gatherers who did not keep animals or the local agricultural economies did not include domesticated dairy species. Milk consumption became common in these regions comparatively recently, as a consequence of European colonialism and political domination over much of the world in the last 500 years. In the Middle Ages, milk was called the "virtuous white liquor" because alcoholic beverages were safer to consume than water.


three-axle milk tank wagon at the Didcot Railway Centre, based on an SR chassis]] The growth in urban population, coupled with the expansion of the railway network in the mid-19th century, brought about a revolution in milk production and supply. Individual railway firms began transporting milk from rural areas to London from the 1840s and 1850s. Possibly the first such instance was in 1846, when St Thomas's Hospital in Southwark contracted with milk suppliers outside London to ship milk by rail. The Great Western Railway was an early and enthusiastic adopter, and began to transport milk into London from Maidenhead in 1860, despite much criticism. By 1900, the company was transporting over 25 million gallons annually. The milk trade grew slowly through the 1860s, but went through a period of extensive, structural change in the 1870s and 1880s. ]] Urban demand began to grow, as consumer purchasing power increased and milk became regarded as a required daily commodity. Over the last three decades of the 19th century, demand for milk in most parts of the country doubled, or in some cases, tripled. Legislation in 1875 made the adulteration of milk illegal - this combined with a marketing campaign to change the image of milk. The proportion of rural imports by rail as a percentage of total milk consumption in London grew from under 5% in the 1860s to over 96% by the early 20th century. By that point, the supply system for milk was the most highly organized and integrated of any food product. The first glass bottle packaging for milk was used in the 1870s. The first company to do so may have been the New York Dairy Company in 1877. The Express Dairy Company in England began glass bottle production in 1880. In 1884, Hervey Thatcher, an American inventor from New York, invented a glass milk bottle, called 'Thatcher's Common Sense Milk Jar', which was sealed with a waxed paper disk. Later, in 1932, plastic-coated paper milk cartons were introduced commercially. In 1863, French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur invented pasteurization, a method of killing harmful bacteria in beverages and food products. "The History Of Milk", About.com. Retrieved August 13, 2010. He developed this method while on summer vacation in Arbois, to remedy the frequent acidity of the local wines. He found out experimentally that it is sufficient to heat a young wine to only about for a brief time to kill the microbes, and that the wine could be nevertheless properly aged without sacrificing the final quality. In honor of Pasteur, the process became known as "pasteurization". Pasteurization was originally used as a way of preventing wine and beer from souring.Carlisle, Rodney (2004). Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries, p.357. John Wiley & Songs, Inc., New Jersey. . Commercial pasteurizing equipment was produced in Germany in the 1880s, and producers adopted the process in Copenhagen and Stockholm by 1885.


Continued improvements in the efficiency for the production of milk led to a worldwide glut of milk by 2016. Russia and China became self-sufficient and stopped importing milk. Canada has tried to restrict milk production by forcing new farmers/increased capacity to "buy in" at CN$24,000 per cow. Importing milk is prohibited. The European Union theoretically stopped subsidizing dairy farming in 2015. Direct subsidies were replaced by "environmental incentives" which results in the government buying milk when the price falls to €200 per . The United States has a voluntary insurance program that pays farmers depending upon the price of milk and the cost of feed.


in Norway]] The females of all mammal species can by definition produce milk, but cow's milk dominates commercial production. In 2011, FAO estimates 85% of all milk worldwide was produced from cows. Human milk is not produced or distributed industrially or commercially; however, human milk banks collect donated human breastmilk and redistribute it to infants who may benefit from human milk for various reasons (premature neonates, babies with allergies, metabolic diseases, etc.) but who cannot breastfeed. Why Bank Milk? Human Milk Banking Association of North America In the Western world, cow's milk is produced on an industrial scale and is by far the most commonly consumed form of milk. Commercial dairy farming using automated milking equipment produces the vast majority of milk in developed countries. Dairy cattle such as the Holstein have been bred selectively for increased milk production. About 90% of the dairy cows in the United States and 85% in Great Britain are Holsteins. Other dairy cows in the United States include Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn (Dairy Shorthorn).

Sources aside from cows

Aside from cattle, many kinds of livestock provide milk used by humans for dairy products. These animals include buffalo, goat, sheep, camel, donkey, horse, reindeer and yak. The first four respectively produced about 11%, 2%, 1.4% and 0.2% of all milk worldwide in 2011. In Russia and Sweden, small moose dairies also exist. According to the US National Bison Association, American bison (also called American buffalo) are not milked commercially; however, various sources report cows resulting from cross-breeding bison and domestic cattle are good milk producers, and have been used both during the European settlement of North America and during the development of commercial Beefalo in the 1970s and 1980s.

Production worldwide

In 2012, the largest producer of milk and milk products was India followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan and Brazil. All 28 European Union members together produced 153.8 million tonnes of milk in 2013, the largest by any politico- economic union. Increasing affluence in developing countries, as well as increased promotion of milk and milk products, has led to a rise in milk consumption in developing countries in recent years. In turn, the opportunities presented by these growing markets have attracted investments by multinational dairy firms. Nevertheless, in many countries production remains on a small scale and presents significant opportunities for diversification of income sources by small farms.Henriksen, J. (2009) "Milk for Health and Wealth". FAO Diversification Booklet Series 6, Rome Local milk collection centers, where milk is collected and chilled prior to being transferred to urban dairies, are a good example of where farmers have been able to work on a cooperative basis, particularly in countries such as India.Sinha, O.P. (2007) Agro-industries characterization and appraisal: Dairy in India, FAO, Rome

Production yields

FAO reports Israel dairy farms are the most productive in the world, with a yield of milk per cow per year. This survey over 2001 and 2007 was conducted by ICAR (International Committee for Animal Recording) across 17 developed countries. The survey found that the average herd size in these developed countries increased from 74 to 99 cows per herd between 2001 and 2007. A dairy farm had an average of 19 cows per herd in Norway, and 337 in New Zealand. Annual milk production in the same period increased from per cow in these developed countries. The lowest average production was in New Zealand at per cow. The milk yield per cow depended on production systems, nutrition of the cows, and only to a minor extent different genetic potential of the animals. What the cow ate made the most impact on the production obtained. New Zealand cows with the lowest yield per year grazed all year, in contrast to Israel with the highest yield where the cows ate in barns with an energy-rich mixed diet. The milk yield per cow in the United States, the world's largest cow milk producer, was per year in 2010. In contrast, the milk yields per cow in India and China – the second and third largest producers – were respectively and per year. FAOSTAT, Yield data 2010 – Cow milk, whole, fresh, FAOSTAT, Food And Agricultural Organization of the United Nations; faostat.fao.org. Retrieved August 1, 2012.


It was reported in 2007 that with increased worldwide prosperity and the competition of bio-fuel production for feed stocks, both the demand for and the price of milk had substantially increased worldwide. Particularly notable was the rapid increase of consumption of milk in China and the rise of the price of milk in the United States above the government subsidized price.Wayne Arnold, "A Thirst for Milk Bred by New Wealth Sends Prices Soaring", The New York Times September 4, 2007. In 2010 the Department of Agriculture predicted farmers would receive an average of $1.35 per US gallon of cow's milk (35 cents per liter), which is down 30 cents per gallon from 2007 and below the break-even point for many cattle farmers.


In the United States, there are two grades of milk, with grade A primarily used for direct sales and consumption in stores, and grade B used for indirect consumption, such as in cheese making or other processing. The differences between the two grades are defined in the Wisconsin administrative code for Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, chapter 60. Wisconsin administrative code for Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Chapter ATCP 60. (PDF). Retrieved November 24, 2011. Grade B generally refers to milk that is cooled in milk cans, which are immersed in a bath of cold flowing water that typically is drawn up from an underground water well rather than using mechanical refrigeration.

Physical and chemical properties

(fat) formed from fatty acids such as myristic, palmitic, and oleic acids.]] Milk is an emulsion or colloid of butterfat globules within a water-based fluid that contains dissolved carbohydrates and protein aggregates with minerals.Rolf Jost "Milk and Dairy Products" Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002. Because it is produced as a food source for the young, all of its contents provide benefits for growth. The principal requirements are energy (lipids, lactose, and protein), biosynthesis of non-essential amino acids supplied by proteins (essential amino acids and amino groups), essential fatty acids, vitamins and inorganic elements, and water.


The pH of milk ranges from 6.4 to 6.8 What Is the pH of Milk? and it changes over time. Milk from other bovines and non-bovine mammals varies in composition, but has a similar pH.


Initially milk fat is secreted in the form of a fat globule surrounded by a membrane.Fox, P.F. Advanced Dairy Chemistry: Vol 2 Lipids. 2nd Ed. Chapman and Hall: New York, 1995. Each fat globule is composed almost entirely of triacylglycerols and is surrounded by a membrane consisting of complex lipids such as phospholipids, along with proteins. These act as emulsifiers which keep the individual globules from coalescing and protect the contents of these globules from various enzymes in the fluid portion of the milk. Although 97–98% of lipids are triacylglycrols, small amounts of di- and monoacylglycerols, free cholesterol and cholesterol esters, free fatty acids, and phospholipids are also present. Unlike protein and carbohydrates, fat composition in milk varies widely in the composition due to genetic, lactational, and nutritional factor difference between different species. Like composition, fat globules vary in size from less than 0.2 to about 15 micrometers in diameter between different species. Diameter may also vary between animals within a species and at different times within a milking of a single animal. In unhomogenized cow's milk, the fat globules have an average diameter of two to four micrometers and with homogenization, average around 0.4 micrometers. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K along with essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acid are found within the milk fat portion of the milk.


Normal bovine milk contains 30–35 grams of protein per liter of which about 80% is arranged in casein micelles. Total proteins in milk represent 3.2% of its composition (nutrition table).


The largest structures in the fluid portion of the milk are "casein micelles": aggregates of several thousand protein molecules with superficial resemblance to a surfactant micelle, bonded with the help of nanometer-scale particles of calcium phosphate. Each casein micelle is roughly spherical and about a tenth of a micrometer across. There are four different types of casein proteins: αs1-, αs2-, β-, and κ-caseins. Collectively, they make up around 76–86%Fox, P. F. Advanced Dairy Chemistry, Vol. 3: Lactose, Water, Salts and Vitamins. 2nd ed. Chapman and Hall: New York, 1995. of the protein in milk, by weight. Most of the casein proteins are bound into the micelles. There are several competing theories regarding the precise structure of the micelles, but they share one important feature: the outermost layer consists of strands of one type of protein, k-casein, reaching out from the body of the micelle into the surrounding fluid. These kappa-casein molecules all have a negative electrical charge and therefore repel each other, keeping the micelles separated under normal conditions and in a stable colloidal suspension in the water-based surrounding fluid. Milk contains dozens of other types of proteins beside caseins and including enzymes. These other proteins are more water-soluble than caseins and do not form larger structures. Because the proteins remain suspended in whey remaining when caseins coagulate into curds, they are collectively known as whey proteins. Whey proteins make up approximately 20% of the protein in milk by weight. Lactoglobulin is the most common whey protein by a large margin.

Salts, minerals, and vitamins

Minerals or milk salts, are traditional names for a variety of cations and anions within bovine milk. Calcium, phosphate, magnesium, sodium, potassium, citrate, and chlorine are all included as minerals and they typically occur at concentration of 5–40 mM. The milk salts strongly interact with casein, most notably calcium phosphate. It is present in excess and often, much greater excess of solubility of solid calcium phosphate. In addition to calcium, milk is a good source of many other vitamins. Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K, E, thiamine, niacin, biotin, riboflavin, folates, and pantothenic acid are all present in milk.

Calcium phosphate structure

For many years the most accepted theory of the structure of a micelle was that it was composed of spherical casein aggregates, called submicelles, that were held together by calcium phosphate linkages. However, there are two recent models of the casein micelle that refute the distinct micellular structures within the micelle. The first theory attributed to de Kruif and Holt, proposes that nanoclusters of calcium phosphate and the phosphopeptide fraction of beta-casein are the centerpiece to micellular structure. Specifically in this view, unstructured proteins organize around the calcium phosphate giving rise to their structure and thus no specific structure is formed. The second theory proposed by Horne, the growth of calcium phosphate nanoclusters begins the process of micelle formation but is limited by binding phosphopeptide loop regions of the caseins. Once bound, protein-protein interactions are formed and polymerization occurs, in which K-casein is used as an end cap, to form micelles with trapped calcium phosphate nanoclusters. Some sources indicate that the trapped calcium phosphate is in the form of Ca9(PO4)6; whereas, others say it is similar to the structure of the mineral brushite CaHPO4 -2H2O. chemistry and physics. Foodsci.uoguelph.ca. Retrieved December 9, 2011.

Carbohydrates and miscellaneous contents

molecule being broken down into glucose (2) and galactose (1)]] Milk contains several different carbohydrate including lactose, glucose, galactose, and other oligosaccharides. The lactose gives milk its sweet taste and contributes approximately 40% of whole cow's milk's calories. Lactose is a disaccharide composite of two simple sugars, glucose and galactose. Bovine milk averages 4.8% anhydrous lactose, which amounts to about 50% of the total solids of skimmed milk. Levels of lactose are dependent upon the type of milk as other carbohydrates can be present at higher concentrations that lactose in milks. Other components found in raw cow's milk are living white blood cells, mammary gland cells, various bacteria, and a large number of active enzymes.


Both the fat globules and the smaller casein micelles, which are just large enough to deflect light, contribute to the opaque white color of milk. The fat globules contain some yellow-orange carotene, enough in some breeds (such as Guernsey and Jersey cattle) to impart a golden or "creamy" hue to a glass of milk. The riboflavin in the whey portion of milk has a greenish color, which sometimes can be discerned in skimmed milk or whey products. Fat-free skimmed milk has only the casein micelles to scatter light, and they tend to scatter shorter-wavelength blue light more than they do red, giving skimmed milk a bluish tint.


In most Western countries, centralized dairy facilities process milk and products obtained from milk, such as cream, butter, and cheese. In the US, these dairies usually are local companies, while in the Southern Hemisphere facilities may be run by very large nationwide or trans-national corporations such as Fonterra.


Pasteurization is used to kill harmful Pathogenic bacteria by heating the milk for a short time and then immediately cooling it. Types of pasteurized milk include full cream, reduced fat, skim milk, calcium enriched, flavoured, and UHT. The standard high temperature short time (HTST) process of 72 °C for 15 seconds completely kills pathogenic bacteria in milk, rendering it safe to drink for up to three weeks if continually refrigerated. Dairies print best before dates on each container, after which stores remove any unsold milk from their shelves. A side effect of the heating of pasteurization is that some vitamin and mineral content is lost. Soluble calcium and phosphorus decrease by 5%, thiamin and vitamin B12 by 10%, and vitamin C by 20%. Because losses are small in comparison to the large amount of the two B-vitamins present, milk continues to provide significant amounts of thiamin and vitamin B12. The loss of vitamin C is not nutritionally significant, as milk is not an important dietary source of vitamin C.


Microfiltration is a process that partially replaces pasteurization and produces milk with fewer microorganisms and longer shelf life without a change in the taste of the milk. In this process, cream is separated from the whey and is pasteurized in the usual way, but the whey is forced through ceramic microfilters that trap 99.9% of microorganisms in the milk (as compared to 99.999% killing of microorganisms in standard HTST pasteurization). The whey then is recombined with the pasteurized cream to reconstitute the original milk composition.

Creaming and homogenization

Upon standing for 12 to 24 hours, fresh milk has a tendency to separate into a high-fat cream layer on top of a larger, low-fat milk layer. The cream often is sold as a separate product with its own uses. Today the separation of the cream from the milk usually is accomplished rapidly in centrifugal cream separators. The fat globules rise to the top of a container of milk because fat is less dense than water. The smaller the globules, the more other molecular-level forces prevent this from happening. In fact, the cream rises in cow's milk much more quickly than a simple model would predict: rather than isolated globules, the fat in the milk tends to form into clusters containing about a million globules, held together by a number of minor whey proteins. These clusters rise faster than individual globules can. The fat globules in milk from goats, sheep, and water buffalo do not form clusters as readily and are smaller to begin with, resulting in a slower separation of cream from these milks. Milk often is homogenized, a treatment that prevents a cream layer from separating out of the milk. The milk is pumped at high pressures through very narrow tubes, breaking up the fat globules through turbulence and cavitation. A greater number of smaller particles possess more total surface area than a smaller number of larger ones, and the original fat globule membranes cannot completely cover them. Casein micelles are attracted to the newly exposed fat surfaces. Nearly one-third of the micelles in the milk end up participating in this new membrane structure. The casein weighs down the globules and interferes with the clustering that accelerated separation. The exposed fat globules are vulnerable to certain enzymes present in milk, which could break down the fats and produce rancid flavors. To prevent this, the enzymes are inactivated by pasteurizing the milk immediately before or during homogenization. Homogenized milk tastes blander but feels creamier in the mouth than unhomogenized. It is whiter and more resistant to developing off flavors. Creamline (or cream-top) milk is unhomogenized. It may or may not have been pasteurized. Milk that has undergone high-pressure homogenization, sometimes labeled as "ultra-homogenized", has a longer shelf life than milk that has undergone ordinary homogenization at lower pressures. Kurt A. Oster, M.D., who worked during the 1960s through the 1980s, suggested a link between homogenized milk and atherosclerosis, due to damage to plasmalogen resulting from the release of bovine xanthine oxidase (BXO) from the milk fat globular membrane (MFGM) during homogenization. Oster's hypothesis has been widely criticized, however, and has not been generally accepted by the scientific community. No link has been found between atherosclerosis and milk consumption.--> The homogenization process increases the shelf life of milk because it decreases the radius of fat globules and other particles (per stokes' law) thus delaying the rate of agglomeration.


Ultra Heat Treatment (UHT), is a type of milk processing where all bacteria are destroyed with high heat to extend its shelf life for up to 6 months, as long as the package is not opened. Milk is firstly homogenized and then is heated to 138 degrees Celsius for 1–3 seconds. The milk is immediately cooled down and packed into a sterile container. As a result of this treatment, all the pathogenic bacteria within the milk are destroyed, unlike when the milk is just pasteurised. The milk will now keep for up for 6 months if unopened. UHT milk does not need to be refrigerated until the package is opened, which makes it easier to ship and store. But in this process there is a loss of vitamin B1 and vitamin C and there is also a slight change in the taste of the milk.

Nutrition and health

The composition of milk differs widely among species. Factors such as the type of protein; the proportion of protein, fat, and sugar; the levels of various vitamins and minerals; and the size of the butterfat globules, and the strength of the curd are among those that may vary. For example:
  • Human milk contains, on average, 1.1% protein, 4.2% fat, 7.0% lactose (a sugar), and supplies 72 kcal of energy per 100 grams.
  • Cow's milk contains, on average, 3.4% protein, 3.6% fat, and 4.6% lactose, 0.7% minerals and supplies 66 kcal of energy per 100 grams. See also Nutritional value further on
Donkey and horse milk have the lowest fat content, while the milk of seals and whales may contain more than 50% fat.

Cow's milk

These compositions vary by breed, animal, and point in the lactation period. The protein range for these four breeds is 3.3% to 3.9%, while the lactose range is 4.7% to 4.9%. Milk fat percentages may be manipulated by dairy farmers' stock diet formulation strategies. Mastitis infection can cause fat levels to decline.

Nutritional value

"green air" © 2007 - Ingo Malchow, Webdesign Neustrelitz
This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk, the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Milk&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany