Milk is the natural food for young mammals. It is also used in the development of a number of
products made from milk, known as dairy products, including butter, cheese, cream and yoghurt.
Dairy products are important sources of protein, B vitamins (such as riboflavin and B12), and
minerals such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium. Vitamin A and small amounts of Vitamin D are
found in whole milk products. Milk also contains potassium and phosphorus.
Data from the 2004 National Diet and Nutrition Survey of British adults aged 19-64
years shows that milk and dairy products in the diet provided; 43% of calcium
intake, 33% of riboflavin intake, and 35% (men) and 42% (women) of iodine intake.
Milk and dairy products also provide 27% of vitamin
A intake, 11% of magnesium intake and 13% of
Milk is a source of high biological value protein (HBV); 3% of the weight of the milk. The
main proteins found in milk are called caseinogens, lactalbumin and lactoglobulin.
Milk contains fat, but it depends what type of milk on the amount
of fat within it; 1. Whole milk (blue cap) is 3.9% fat. 2. Semi skimmed
milk (green cap) is 1.6% fat. 3. Skimmed milk (red cap) is 0.1% fat.
Milk also contains carbohydrate in the form of lactose. This
accounts for 5% of the milk.
Whole milk, semi skimmed, skimmed and UHT milk can be used in many ways.
Soups - e.g. cream of mushroom
Sauces - parsley sauce, roux sauce
Batters - pancakes, yorkshire puddings
Puddings - rice pudding, bread and butter pudding
Baked products - bread, scones
Hot drinks - added to coffees, teas, lattes,
cappucchinos and hot chocolate
Cold drinks - milkshakes and smoothies
Glazing - brushing over the surface of foods
to be baked will give a smooth shiny finish
Dried milk powder is very useful because of its
keeping qualities. It is also useful for when
making bread in a bread maker.
Soya milk is a very useful
alternative to cows mil and can
be used by vegetarians, vegans
and people with an intolerance
to cows milk.
Goats milk is nutritionally similar
to cows milk and has a very
distinctive taste. It can be useful
for people with a lactose
In the UK, cows milk is most commonly consumed, although other types such as
ewes and goats milk are also consumed. Most milk undergoes some form of
heat processing such as pasteurisation, sterilisation, or ultra high temperature
(UHT) treatment. This ensures that any harmful microorganisms are destroyed
and also improves keeping qualities.
Pasteurised milk - is treated to a temperature
of 71.1 degrees celsius for 15 seconds and
then quickly cooled to less that 10 degrees C.
Sterilised milk - is preheated to 50 degrees C, separated and
standardised into whole, semi skimmed and skimmed milk. The
milk is then bottled and passed through a steam pressure
chamber at temperatures between 110 degrees c and 130 degrees
c for 10 to 30 minutes then cooled in a cold water tank.
UHT milk - is homogenised and then heated to at least 135
degrees c for one second and then packed into cartons.
'Homogenised' means that the milk is forced through a fine
aperture that breaks up the fat globules into an even size so
that they remain distributed throughout the milk and do not
form a layer of crew on top of the milk. All types of milk are
Evaporated milk - is concentrated
sterilised milk, which is usually cane
and has twice the concentration of milk.
Condensed milk - is concentrated in the same way as evaporated milk, and sugar
is added. It is not sterilised because the milk is preserved by the addition of
Dried milk powder - is produced by
the water content of the milk being
evaporated off to produce a solid
that has 5% water content.
Soya milk - is made from soya beans.
Goats milk and ewes milk are obtained from goats and