How To Choose Fresh Milk. The 100% Cow’s Milk

Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by marvin v

The 100% cow’s milk comes straight from the udder. Quick processing may be done, but adding extra water and preservatives voids the 100% value. 

If you’re shopping for fresh milk, what you’d get is either UHT milk – disguised as fresh milk.  Or reconstituted milk – powdered milk added with water plus others. 

They’re both liquid milk with the same packaging, and on the same shelf. If you are not mindful, it’s easy to make a mistake. Promotion and enticing packaging may further cloud your judgment. 

You’re lucky if there are dairy farms in your country. You’ll be able to get fresh milk. Even raw milk if you live near the farm.

What is raw milk?

According to the CDC, raw milk is any milk that has not undergone any processing, including pasteurization. It may contain harmful microbes such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, and Salmonella.

Raw milk only lasts for 7-10 days when stored at 2.2-3.3°C. After, the naturally occurring bacteria will make the milk sour. Spoilage is even faster under normal temperature conditions.

Raw milk could be the healthiest of all milk types.  But the short shelf life and the dangers it may bring, outweigh the healthy side. 

What is fresh milk?

Fresh milk undergoes pasteurization that kills 99.9% of microbes, and makes the milk last for about 5 to 15 days in chilled storage.

The process is also called HTST – high treatment short time.  Heats up the milk at 74°C for  15 seconds and then cools down rapidly to 4°C.

The heat and cold shock render the microorganisms harmless. It kills most bacteria while preserving nutrients.

What is UHT milk? 

UHT, ultra-heat treatment, brings the milk at 135°C for 2-5 seconds. Time is shorter but enough to destroy bacterial spores. And even more effective when repeated several times. 

UHT may have reduced nutritional value. If the heat kills bacteria and its resistant spores. Then it’s likely to destroy nutrients like Vitamin B 12 and D.

The heating process may also cause flavor changes thru Maillard browning reaction. You won’t notice the difference if you’re not used to drinking raw milk.

Before you become judgmental. Keep in mind that UHT and HTST focus on safety and shelf life extension.  UHT milk may last from 40 to 60 days, with others claiming to have a shelf life of up to 3 months.

Why do raw milk and fresh milk not available in local stores?

The problem is location and travel. For foods to be available to you, it needs to withstand the travel time, which may not be possible if you are living miles away from the dairy farm. Or you want to drink the milk later.

If you live near the dairy farm, then sourcing both raw milk and fresh milk won’t be a problem.

Fresh milk undergoes different heat treatment, but UHT milk is often marketed under the same name. Be suspicious if you’re miles away from the milk source.

Which milk should I get?

If you’re on the healthy side, select raw milk first, fresh milk second, and UHT milk last. 

If you focus on safety,  choose UHT milk first, fresh milk second, and raw milk last. If you feel you’re not getting enough nutrients, getting an extra package will only hurt your wallet a little.

It’s alright to choose raw milk for both safety and health if you’re near the dairy farm. And you’re familiar with their sanitation practices.

In my case, I’m only looking for one thing, the 100% milk written below the “Ingredient list.”

How about milk powder? Are they 100% pure?

Milk powder is produced by either spray dryer or roller dryer. It aims to remove the water to make the milk longer lasting. What originally lasts for 7-10 days under chilled condition will last for years.

In addition. The same packaging can carry much more. Powder also removes the need for refrigeration. If nothing is added after, it’s 100% milk.

Different Types of Milk According to Fat Content

Milk has different types according to fat content. Spinning the milk in the centrifuge machine allows the separation of fat globules.

  1. Whole milk has 3.25% fat
  2. Reduced-fat milk has 2% fat by weight
  3. Lowfat has 1% fat by weight
  4. Skim milk or fat-free has 0 fat

What is Fortified milk?

Milk with added nutrients such as Vitamin A and D. Often, they also add zinc, iron, and folic acid.

Infant formula and adult milk are two popular examples of milk fortification. Each is specially formulated to meet the target population’s needs.

Reconstituted or Recombined Milk

Reconstitution attempts to bring back the milk powder to its original form. If what you aim to get from the shop is reconstituted milk, then better get the milk powder and mix the milk yourself.

What is Organic milk?

Organic milk is the same as other milk. But, the producer follows strict guidelines. They have specific rules from cow raising, to milk collection and up to milk processing. Such rules prohibit the use of pesticides, antibiotics, and growth boosters.

Organic milk commands a high price point because many health-conscious people desire the claimed additional health benefits.

What is Lactose-free milk?

Lactose-free milk has no lactose. It has been broken down. The milk sugar that has been causing lactose intolerance for some people.

After drinking milk. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as bloating, lower belly cramps, and diarrhea. Then it’s likely that you’re lactose intolerant. Try lactose-free milk. 

Can I drink milk every day?

If you have no underlying condition with milk, then you can. Nope if you’re lactose intolerant or experiencing milk allergy.  I think you should find an alternative to meet your nutrient requirements.

What is a milk substitute?

If taking milk is not possible for you, then you need to opt for milk substitutes. Such as soy milk, oat milk, and rice milk. They can be as good as cow’s milk if formulated by the right company.

For vegan dieters and babies with galactosemia, soy milk is the safest choice.

Milk from other animals, such as sheep, goat, and buffalo also cause allergy.

How do you know when milk is bad?

If the smell isn’t right, then it’s bad. Don’t take chances. Don’t ever try tasting. Throw it right away. The same thing for discoloration.

Practice the habit of smelling every food you eat

Yeah, you heard me right. I urge you to smell every food before putting them into your mouth. Do it discretely when in front of other people to avoid feeling awkward.

If you have more questions, then don’t be shy to ask.

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