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Milk is a
nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and t ...
-rich
liquid food A liquid diet is a diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for #Health, health or #Weigh ...
produced by the
mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. Mammals get their name from the Latin word ''mamma'', "breast". The mammary glands are arranged in organ (anatomy), organs such as the b ...
s of
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...
s. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals (including
breastfed
breastfed
human infants) before they are able to
digest Digest may refer to: In biology: *Digestion of food *Restriction digest In literature or publication: *''The Digest'', formerly the English and Empire Digest *Digest size magazine format *Digest (Roman law), ''Digest'' (Roman law), also known as ...
solid food. Early-
lactation Lactation describes the secretion of milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals (including breastfeeding, breastfed human infants) before they a ...

lactation
milk, which is called
colostrum Colostrum (known colloquially as beestings, bisnings or first milk) is the first form of milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals (including ...

colostrum
, contains
antibodies An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as pathogenic bacteria and Viral disease, viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique mo ...

antibodies
that strengthen the immune system and thus reduces the risk of many diseases. Milk contains many other nutrients, including
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
and
lactose Lactose, a disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-g ...

lactose
. Interspecies consumption of milk is not uncommon - many human beings consume the milk of other mammals. As an agricultural product,
dairy A dairy is a business enterprise Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise enter ...

dairy
milk is
collected from farm animals
collected from farm animals
. In 2011,
dairy farms A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing (or both) of animal milk – mostly from cattle, cows or Water buffalo, buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is ty ...
produced around of milk from 260 million dairy cows.
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
is the world's largest producer of milk and the leading exporter of
skimmed milk Skimmed milk (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usag ...

skimmed milk
powder, but it exports few other milk products. Because there is an ever-increasing demand for dairy products within India, it could eventually become a net importer of dairy products. New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands are the largest exporters of milk products. China and Russia were the world's largest importers of milk and milk products until 2016, when both countries became able to produce enough to meet their inhabitants’ demand. This change contributed to an oversupply of milk in the global market. More than six billion people worldwide consume milk and milk products, and between 750 and 900 million people live in dairy-farming households. Plant milks are increasingly consumed as plant-based alternatives to dairy milk.


Etymology and terminology

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'')". In food use, from 1961, the term
''milk''
''milk''
has been defined under
Codex Alimentarius The ''Codex Alimentarius'' is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to food, food production, food labeling, and food safety. History Its name is derived from the ...
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." The term
''dairy''
''dairy''
relates to animal milk and animal milk production.


Types of consumption

There are two distinct categories of milk consumption: all infant mammals drink milk directly from their mothers’ bodies, and it is their primary source of nutrition; and humans obtain milk from other mammals for consumption by humans of all ages, as one component of a varied diet.


Nutrition for infant mammals

In almost all mammals, milk is fed to
infant 222x222px, Eight-month-old sororal twin sisters An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the very young offspring ...

infant
s through
breastfeeding Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. The (WHO) reco ...

breastfeeding
, either directly or by expressing the milk to be stored and consumed later. The early milk from mammals is called
colostrum Colostrum (known colloquially as beestings, bisnings or first milk) is the first form of milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals (including ...

colostrum
. Colostrum contains
antibodies An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as pathogenic bacteria and Viral disease, viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique mo ...

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 The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unite ...
recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and breastfeeding in addition to other food for up to two years of age or more. 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 An electrolyte is a medium containing ions that is electrically conducting Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resist ...

electrolyte
imbalances,
metabolic acidosis Metabolic acidosis is a serious electrolyte disorder characterized by an imbalance in the body's acid-base balance. Metabolic acidosis has three main root causes: increased acid production, loss of bicarbonate, and a reduced ability of the kidney ...
,
megaloblastic anemia Megaloblastic anemia is a type of macrocytic anemia that results from inhibition of DNA synthesis during red blood cell production. When DNA synthesis is impaired, the cell cycle cannot progress from the G2 growth stage to the mitosis (M) sta ...
, and a host of
allergic reactions Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity (also called hypersensitivity reaction or intolerance) refers to undesirable reactions produced by the normal immune system, ...
.


Food product for humans

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 Lactase is an enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme conve ...

lactase
, an enzyme necessary for digesting the lactose in milk. People therefore converted milk to
curd Cheese curds Curd is obtained by coagulating Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a thrombus, blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood los ...

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 Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a statistic, g ...
. This mutation allowed milk to be used as a new source of nutrition which could sustain populations when other food sources failed. Milk is processed into a variety of products such as
cream Cream is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains e ...

cream
,
butter Butter is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contai ...

butter
,
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning ...

yogurt
,
kefir Kefir (also spelled as kephir or kefier, ; ; ) ( ), is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common ...

kefir
,
ice cream Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from milk or cream and is flavoured with a sweetener A sugar substitute is a food additive that provides a sweetness, sweet taste like that of sug ...

ice cream
, and
cheese Cheese is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contai ...

cheese
. Modern industrial processes use milk to produce
casein Casein ( , from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...

casein
,
whey protein 250px, Containers of whey protein being sold at a health food store Whey protein is a mixture of protein Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules that comprise one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues ...

whey protein
, lactose,
condensed milk Condensed milk is cow's milk from which water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main consti ...
,
powdered milk Powdered milk, also called dried milk, or milk powder, is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and ot ...
, and many other food-additives and industrial products. Whole milk, butter and cream have high levels of
saturated fat A saturated fat is a type of fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any indivi ...
. The sugar lactose is found only in milk, and possibly in
forsythia ''Forsythia'' , is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer ...

forsythia
flowers and a few tropical shrubs. Lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, reaches its highest levels in the human small intestine immediately after birth, and then begins a slow decline unless milk is consumed regularly. Those groups who continue to tolerate milk have often exercised great creativity in using the milk of
domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that sec ...
ungulate Ungulates ( ) are members of the diverse Ungulata which primarily consists of large mammals with . These include s such as s, es, and s; and s such as , s, s, s, , , and es. s such as , , and are also classified as even-toed ungulates, althoug ...
s, not only cattle, but also sheep, goats,
yak The domestic yak (''Bos grunniens'') is a type of long-haired domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care o ...

yak
s,
water buffalo The water buffalo (''Bubalus bubalis''), also called the domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo, is a large bovid The Bovidae comprise the biological family Family ( la, familia, plural ') is one of the eight major hierarchical tax ...

water buffalo
, horses,
reindeer The reindeer (''Rangifer tarandus''), also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North ...

reindeer
and
camels A camel is an even-toed ungulate in the genus ''Camelus'' that bears distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back. Camels have long been domesticated and, as livestock, they provide food (camel milk, milk and meat) and textiles (fiber ...

camels
. India is the largest producer and consumer of cattle- and buffalo milk in the world.


History

Humans first learned to consume the milk of other mammals regularly following the domestication of animals during the
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
or the development of agriculture. This development occurred independently in several global locations from as early as 9000–7000BC in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
to 3500–3000BC 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 The aurochs (''Bos primigenius'') ( or ), also known as urus or ure, is an extinct cattle species that was first described in 1827. With a shoulder height of up to in bulls and in cows, it was one of the largest herbivores in Holocene Europe ...

aurochs
populations several times since. Initially animals were kept for meat, and archaeologist
Andrew Sherratt Andrew George Sherratt (8 May 1946 – 24 February 2006) was an English archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch ...

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 In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanis ...
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 A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herd A herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wildness, wild or Domestication, domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associated with this is called ''he ...
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 The Pontic–Caspian steppe, formed by the Caspian steppe and the Pontic steppe, is the steppe File:Steppe of western Kazakhstan in the early spring.jpg, Steppe in Kazakhstan In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion cha ...
in the fourth millennium BC, and subsequently spread across much of the
Eurasian steppe The Eurasian Steppe, also simply called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast steppe File:Steppe of western Kazakhstan in the early spring.jpg, Steppe in Kazakhstan In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characteri ...
. Sheep and goats were introduced to Africa from Southwest Asia, but African cattle may have been independently domesticated around 7000–6000BC. 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 A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
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 Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
and political domination over much of the world in the last 500 years. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, milk was called the "virtuous white liquor" because alcoholic beverages were safer to consume than water. James Rosier's record of the 1605 voyage made by
George Weymouth George Weymouth (Waymouth) (c. 1585-c. 1612) was an English explorer of the area now occupied by the state of Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the At ...
to New England did report the Wabanaki people Weymouth captured in Maine did report milking "Rain-Deere and Fallo-Deere." But Journalist
Avery Yale Kamila Avery Yale Kamila is an American journalist, vegan columnist and community organizer in the state of Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Oce ...
and food historians said Rosier "misinterpreted the evidence." Historians report the Wabanaki did not domesticate deer. The tribes of the northern woodlands have historically been making nut milk. Cows were imported to New England in 1624.


Industrialization

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 St Thomas' Hospital is a large NHS teaching hospital in Central London Central London (also known less commonly as London city centre) is the innermost part of London, in England, spanning several London borough, boroughs. Over time, a numb ...
in
Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the wider modern London Borough of Southwark. The district, which is the oldest part of South London, developed ...

Southwark
contracted with milk suppliers outside London to ship milk by rail. The
Great Western Railway The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company that linked London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millenni ...
was an early and enthusiastic adopter, and began to transport milk into London from
Maidenhead Maidenhead is a market town in Berkshire, England, on the southwestern bank of the River Thames. It has an estimated population of 70,374 (152,914 Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead). It is a town in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenh ...
in 1860, despite much criticism. By 1900, the company was transporting over 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. Milk was analyzed for infection with
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the in ...

tuberculosis
. In 1907 180 samples were tested in Birmingham and 13.3% were found to be infected. 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 Glass milk bottles are glass bottles used for milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. Mammal ...
, called "Thatcher's Common Sense Milk Jar," which was sealed with a waxed paper disk. Later, in 1932,
plastic-coated paperPlastic-coated paper is a coated or laminated composite material made of paper or paperboard with a plastic layer or treatment on a surface. This type of coated paper is most used in the food packaging, food and drink packaging industry. Function T ...
milk cartons were introduced commercially. In 1863, French chemist and biologist
Louis Pasteur Louis Pasteur (, ; 27 December 1822 – 28 September 1895) was a French chemist A chemist (from Greek ''chēm(ía)'' alchemy; replacing ''chymist'' from Medieval Latin ''alchemist'') is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts S ...

Louis Pasteur
invented pasteurization, a method of killing harmful bacteria in beverages and food products."The History Of Milk"
About.com Dotdash (formerly About.com) is an American digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can be created, vi ...
. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
He developed this method while on summer vacation in
Arbois Arbois is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or w ...
, 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 Ageing or aging (see American and British English spelling differences#Dropped "e", spelling differences) is the process of becoming older. The term refers especially to humans, many other animals, and fungi, whereas for example bacteria, pere ...
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. Commercial pasteurizing equipment was produced in Germany in the 1880s, and producers adopted the process in
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
and
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
by 1885.


Sources

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 . Breast milk or mother's milk is milk produced by Mammary gland, mammary glands, located in the breast of a human female. Breast milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns, containing fat, protein, carbohydrates and variable minerals and ...
and redistribute it to infants who may benefit from human milk for various reasons (premature neonates, babies with allergies,
metabolic diseases A metabolic disorder is a disorder that negatively alters the body's processing and distribution of macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Metabolic disorders can happen when abnormal chemical reactions in the body alter the nor ...
, etc.) but who cannot breastfeed. 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 A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized governmen ...
.
Dairy cattle Dairy cattle (also called dairy cows) are cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large s. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily and the most w ...
, such as the
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label=Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin and historical en, Holsatia, italic=yes) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider (river), Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost S ...
, have been bred selectively for increased milk production. About 90% of the dairy cows in the United States and 85% in
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
are Holsteins. Other dairy cows in the United States include
Ayrshire Ayrshire ( gd, Siorrachd Inbhir Àir, ) is a historic county and registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. Wit ...

Ayrshire
,
Brown Swiss The Brown Swiss or American Brown Swiss is an American breed A breed is a specific group of domestic animals having homogeneous appearance (phenotype), homogeneous behavior, and/or other characteristics that distinguish it from other organis ...

Brown Swiss
,
Guernsey Guernsey (; Guernésiais Guernésiais, also known as ''Dgèrnésiais'', Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French, is the variety of the spoken in . It is sometimes known on the island simply as "". As one of the , it has its roots in , ...

Guernsey
,
Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, label=Jèrriais, Jèrri ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ''Bailliage dé Jèrri''), is an island and self-governing Crown dependencies, Crown Dependency near the coa ...
and
Milking Shorthorn The Dairy Shorthorn is a British breed of dairy cattle. It developed from the Shorthorn, which itself came from County Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire in north eastern England. The breed is known as the Dairy Shorthorn in the United Kingdom ...
(Dairy Shorthorn).


Other animal-based sources

Aside from cattle, many kinds of livestock provide milk used by humans for dairy products. These animals include
water buffalo The water buffalo (''Bubalus bubalis''), also called the domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo, is a large bovid The Bovidae comprise the biological family Family ( la, familia, plural ') is one of the eight major hierarchical tax ...
,
goat The domestic goat or simply goat (''Capra hircus'') is a domesticated species of typically kept as . It was from the (''C. aegagrus'') of and . The goat is a member of the animal family and the subfamily , meaning it is closely related ...
,
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order (biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name ''sheep'' applies to many species ...
,
camel A camel is an even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulates—hoofed animals—which bear weight equally on two (an even number) of their five toes: the third and fourth. The other three toes are either present, ...

camel
,
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
,
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

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 U.S. 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. Swine are almost never milked, even though their milk is similar to cow's milk and perfectly suitable for human consumption. The main reasons for this are that milking a sow's numerous small teats is very cumbersome, and that sows can not store their milk as cows can. A few pig farms do sell pig cheese as a novelty item; these cheeses are exceedingly expensive.


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 of milk in 2013, the largest by any Political union, politico-Economic union, 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 corporation, 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. 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.


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 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.


Price

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. In 2010 the United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture predicted farmers would receive an average of of cow's milk, which is down from 2007 and below the break-even point for many cattle farmers.


Composition

Milk is an emulsion or colloid of butterfat globules of fat, globules within a water-based fluid that contains dissolved carbohydrates and protein aggregates with minerals. 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.Fox, P.F. Advanced Dairy Chemistry, Vol. 3: Lactose, Water, Salts and Vitamins. 2nd ed. Chapman and Hall: New York, 1995.


pH

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


Lipids

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 triacylglycerols, 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 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 micrometre, 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 vitamin A, A, vitamin D, D, vitamin E, E, and vitamin K, K along with essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acid are found within the milk fat portion of the milk.


Proteins

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).


Caseins

The largest structures in the fluid portion of the milk are casein, "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. 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 (chemistry), 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''. Lactoglobulin is the most common whey protein by a large margin. The ratio of caseins to whey proteins varies greatly between species; for example, it is 82:18 in cows and around 32:68 in humans.


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 chloride are all included and they typically occur at concentrations of 5–40Molar concentration#Units, 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 widely 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 micellar structure. Specifically in this view unstructured proteins organize around the calcium phosphate, giving rise to their structure, and thus no specific structure is formed. Under 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.


Sugars and carbohydrates

Milk contains several different carbohydrate including
lactose Lactose, a disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-g ...

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 Monosaccharide, 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 than lactose in milks.


Miscellaneous contents

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.


Appearance

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.


Processing

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


Pasteurization

Pasteurization is used to kill harmful pathogenic bacteria such as ''M. paratuberculosis'' and ''E. coli 0157:H7'' 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, flavored, and UHT. The standard high temperature short time (HTST) process of 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.


Filtration

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 skimmed milk and is pasteurized in the usual way, but the skimmed milk is forced through ceramic microfilters that trap 99.9% of microorganisms in the milk (as compared to 99.999% killing of microorganisms in standard flash pasteurization, HTST pasteurization). The skimmed milk then is recombined with the pasteurized cream to reconstitute the original milk composition. Ultrafiltration uses finer filters than microfiltration, which allow lactose and water to pass through while retaining fats, calcium and protein. As with microfiltration, the fat may be removed before filtration and added back in afterwards. Ultrafiltered milk is used in cheesemaking, since it has reduced volume for a given protein content, and is sold directly to consumers as a higher protein, lower sugar content, and creamier alternative to regular milk.


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 centrifuge, 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. 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 Homogenization (chemistry), 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 rancidification, 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.


UHT

Ultra-high-temperature processing, 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 1–3seconds. 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 pasteurized. 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: * breast milk, 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% Dietary mineral, minerals and supplies 66 kcal of energy per 100 grams. See also #Nutritional value, Nutritional value further on Donkey and horse milk have the lowest fat content, while the milk of pinniped, 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. The infection known as mastitis, Mastitis in dairy cattle, especially in dairy cattle, can cause fat levels to decline.


Nutritional value

Processed cow's milk was formulated to contain differing amounts of fat during the 1950s. One cup (250 mL) of 2%-fat cow's milk contains 285 mg of calcium, which represents 22% to 29% of the daily recommended intake (DRI) of calcium for an adult. Depending on its age, milk contains 8 grams of
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
, and a number of other nutrients (either naturally or through food fortification, fortification) including: * Biotin * Iodine * Magnesium * Pantothenic acid * Potassium * Riboflavin * Selenium * Thiamine * Vitamin A * Vitamin B12, Vitamin B12 * Vitamin D, Vitamins D * Vitamin K


Evolution of lactation

The
mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. Mammals get their name from the Latin word ''mamma'', "breast". The mammary glands are arranged in organ (anatomy), organs such as the b ...
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. Tritylodontidae, Tritylodontid cynodonts seem to have displayed lactation, based on their dental replacement patterns.


Bovine growth hormone supplementation

Since November 1993, recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), also called rBGH, has been sold to dairy farmers with FDA approval. Cows produce bovine growth hormone naturally, but some producers administer an additional recombinant version of BGH which is produced through genetically engineered Escherichia coli, E. coli to increase milk production. Bovine growth hormone also stimulates liver production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unite ...
have reported that both of these compounds are safe for human consumption at the amounts present. Milk from cows given rBST may be sold in the United States, and the FDA stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and that from non-rBST-treated cows. Milk that advertises that it comes from cows not treated with rBST, is required to state this finding on its label. Cows receiving rBGH supplements may more frequently contract an udder infection known as mastitis. Problems with mastitis have led to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan banning milk from rBST treated cows. Mastitis, among other diseases, may be responsible for the fact that levels of white blood cells in milk vary naturally. rBGH is also banned in the European Union, for reasons of animal welfare.


Varieties and brands

Milk products are sold in a number of varieties based on types/degrees of: * additives (e.g. vitamins, flavorings) * age (e.g. cheddar, old cheddar) * coagulation (e.g. cottage cheese) * farming method (e.g. organic, grass-fed, haymilk) * fat content (e.g. half and half, 3% fat milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk) * fermentation (e.g. buttermilk) * flavoring (e.g. chocolate and strawberry) * homogenization (e.g. cream top) * packaging (e.g. bottle, carton, bag) * pasteurization (e.g. raw milk, pasteurized milk) * reduction or elimination of lactose * species (e.g. cow, goat, sheep) * sweetening (e.g., chocolate and strawberry milk) * water content (e.g. dry milk powder, condensed milk, ultrafiltered milk) Milk preserved by the Ultra-high-temperature processing, UHT process does not need to be refrigerated before opening and has a much longer shelf life (six months) than milk in ordinary packaging. It is typically sold unrefrigerated in the UK, U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Australia.


Reduction or elimination of lactose

Lactose-free milk can be produced by passing milk over lactase enzyme bound to an inert carrier. Once the molecule is cleaved, there are no lactose ill effects. Forms are available with reduced amounts of lactose (typically 30% of normal), and alternatively with nearly 0%. The only noticeable difference from regular milk is a slightly sweeter taste due to the generation of glucose by lactose cleavage. It does not, however, contain more glucose, and is nutritionally identical to regular milk. Finland, where approximately 17% of the Finnish-speaking population has hypolactasia, has had "HYLA" (acronym for ''hydrolyzed lactose'') products available for many years. Lactose of low-lactose level cow's milk products, ranging from ice cream to cheese, is enzymatically hydrolyzed into glucose and galactose. The ultra-pasteurization process, combined with aseptic packaging, ensures a long shelf life. In 2001, Valio launched a lactose-free milk drink that is not sweet like HYLA milk but has the fresh taste of ordinary milk. Valio patented the chromatography, chromatographic separation method to remove lactose. Valio also markets these products in Sweden, Estonia, Belgium, and the United States, where the company says ultrafiltration is used. In the UK, where an estimated 4.7% of the population are affected by lactose intolerance, Lactofree produces milk, cheese, and yogurt products that contain only 0.03% lactose. To aid digestion in those with lactose intolerance, milk with added bacterial cultures such as ''Lactobacillus acidophilus'' ("acidophilus milk") and bifidobacteria ("a/B milk") is available in some areas. Another milk with ''Lactococcus lactis'' bacteria cultures ("buttermilk, cultured buttermilk") often is used in cooking to replace the traditional use of naturally soured milk, which has become rare due to the ubiquity of pasteurization, which also kills the naturally occurring Lactococcus bacteria. Lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk can also be produced via ultrafiltered milk, ultra filtration, which removes smaller molecules such as lactose and water while leaving calcium and proteins behind. Milk produced via these methods has a lower sugar content than regular milk.


Additives and flavoring

In areas where the cattle (and often the people) live indoors, commercially sold milk commonly has vitamin D added to it to make up for lack of exposure to Ultraviolet, UVB radiation. Reduced-fat milks often have added vitamin A palmitate to compensate for the loss of the vitamin during fat removal; in the United States this results in reduced fat milks having a higher vitamin A content than whole milk. Milk often has flavoring added to it for better taste or as a means of improving sales. Chocolate milk has been sold for many years and has been followed more recently by strawberry milk and others. Some nutritionists have criticized flavored milk for adding sugar, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, to the diets of children who are already commonly obese in the U.S.


Distribution

Due to the short shelf life of normal milk, it used to be delivered to households daily in many countries; however, improved refrigeration at home, changing food shopping patterns because of supermarkets, and the higher cost of home delivery mean that daily deliveries by a milkman are no longer available in most countries.


Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand, prior to metrication, milk was generally distributed in 1 pint (568mL) glass bottles. In Australia and Ireland there was a government funded "free milk for school children" program, and milk was distributed at morning recess in 1/3 pint bottles. With the conversion to metric measures, the milk industry was concerned that the replacement of the pint bottles with 500mL bottles would result in a 13.6% drop in milk consumption; hence, all pint bottles were recalled and replaced by 600mL bottles. With time, due to the steadily increasing cost of collecting, transporting, storing and cleaning glass bottles, they were replaced by cardboard cartons. A number of designs were used, including a tetrahedron which could be close-packed without waste space, and could not be knocked over accidentally (slogan: "No more crying over spilt milk"). However, the industry eventually settled on a design similar to that used in the United States.Milk and Juice Cartons Fact Sheet
Waste Wise WA, zerowastewa.com.au. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
Milk is now available in a variety of sizes in paperboard milk cartons (250 mL, 375 mL, 600 mL, 1 liter and 1.5 liters) and plastic bottles (1, 2 and 3 liters). A significant addition to the marketplace has been "long-life" milk (Ultra-high-temperature processing, UHT), generally available in 1 and 2 liter rectangular cardboard cartons. In urban and suburban areas where there is sufficient demand, home delivery is still available, though in suburban areas this is often 3 times per week rather than daily. Another significant and popular addition to the marketplace has been flavored milks; for example, as mentioned above, Farmers Union Iced Coffee outsells Coca-Cola in South Australia.


India

In rural
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, milk is home delivered, daily, by local milkmen carrying bulk quantities in a metal container, usually on a bicycle. In other parts of metropolitan
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, milk is usually bought or delivered in plastic bags or cartons via shops or supermarkets. The current milk chain flow in India is from milk producer to milk collection agent. Then it is transported to a milk chilling center and bulk transported to the processing plant, then to the sales agent and finally to the consumer. A 2011 survey by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found that nearly 70% of samples had not conformed to the standards set for milk. The study found that due to lack of hygiene and sanitation in milk handling and packaging, detergents (used during cleaning operations) were not washed properly and found their way into the milk. About 8% of samples in the survey were found to have detergents, which are hazardous to health.


Pakistan

In Pakistan, milk is supplied in jugs. Milk has been a staple food, especially among the pastoral tribes in this country.


United Kingdom

Since the late 1990s, milk-buying patterns have changed drastically in the UK. The classic milkman, who travels his local milk round (route) using a milk float (often battery powered) during the early hours and delivers milk in 1-pint glass bottles with aluminum foil tops directly to households, has almost disappeared. Two of the main reasons for the decline of UK home deliveries by milkmen are household refrigerators (which lessen the need for daily milk deliveries) and private car usage (which has increased supermarket shopping). Another factor is that it is cheaper to purchase milk from a supermarket than from home delivery. In 1996, more than 2.5 billion liters of milk were still being delivered by milkmen, but by 2006 only 637 million liters (13% of milk consumed) was delivered by some 9,500 milkmen. By 2010, the estimated number of milkmen had dropped to 6,000. Assuming that delivery per milkman is the same as it was in 2006, this means milkmen deliveries now only account for 6–7% of all milk consumed by UK households (6.7 billion liters in 2008/2009). Almost 95% of all milk in the UK is thus sold in shops today, most of it in plastic bottles of various sizes, but some also in milk cartons. Milk is hardly ever sold in glass bottles in UK shops.


United States

In the United States, glass milk bottles have been replaced mostly with milk cartons and plastic jugs. Gallons of milk are almost always sold in jugs, while half gallons and quarts may be found in both paper cartons and plastic jugs, and smaller sizes are almost always in cartons. The "half pint" () milk carton is the traditional unit as a component of school lunches, though some companies have replaced that unit size with a plastic bottle, which is also available at retail in 6- and 12-pack size.


Packaging

Glass milk bottles are now rare. Most people purchase milk in bags, plastic bottles, or plastic-coated paper cartons. Ultraviolet (UV) light from fluorescent lamp, fluorescent lighting can alter the flavor of milk, so many companies that once distributed milk in transparency and translucency, transparent or highly translucent containers are now using thicker materials that block the UV light. Milk comes in a variety of carton, containers with local variants: ;Argentina : Commonly sold in 1-liter bags and cardboard boxes. The bag is then placed in a plastic jug and the corner cut off before the milk is poured. ;Australia and New Zealand : Distributed in a variety of sizes, most commonly in Aseptic processing, aseptic cartons for up to 1.5 liters, and plastic screw-top bottles beyond that with the following volumes; 1.1 L, 2 L, and 3 L. 1-liter milk bags are starting to appear in supermarkets, but have not yet proved popular. Most UHT-milk is packed in 1 or 2 liter paper containers with a sealed plastic spout. ;Brazil : Used to be sold in cooled 1-liter bags, just like in South Africa. Today the most common form is 1-liter aseptic cartons containing UHT skimmed, semi-skimmed or whole milk, although the plastic bags are still in use for pasteurized milk. Higher grades of pasteurized milk can be found in cartons or plastic bottles. Sizes other than 1-liter are rare. ;Canada : 1.33 liter plastic bags (sold as 4 liters in 3 bags) are widely available in some areas (especially the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec), although the 4 liter plastic jug has supplanted them in western Canada. Other common packaging sizes are 2 liter, 1 liter, 500 mL, and 250 mL cartons, as well as 4 liter, 1 liter, 250 mL aseptic cartons and 500 mL plastic jugs. ;Chile : Distributed most commonly in Aseptic processing, aseptic cartons for up to 1 liter, but smaller, snack-sized cartons are also popular. The most common flavors, besides the natural presentation, are chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. ;China : Sweetened milk is a drink popular with students of all ages and is often sold in small plastic bags complete with straw. Adults not wishing to drink at a banquet often drink milk served from cartons or Hong Kong-style milk tea, milk tea. ;Colombia :Sells milk in 1-liter plastic bags. ;Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro : UHT milk (''trajno mlijeko/trajno mleko/''трајно млеко) is sold in 500 mL and 1 L (sometimes also 200 mL) aseptic cartons. Non-UHT pasteurized milk (''svježe mlijeko/sveže mleko/''свеже млеко) is most commonly sold in 1 L and 1.5 L PET bottles, though in Serbia one can still find milk in plastic bags. ;Estonia : Commonly sold in 1 L bags or 0.33 L, 0.5 L, 1 L or 1.5 L cartons. ; Parts of Europe : Sizes of 500 mL, 1 liter (the most common), 1.5 liters, 2 liters and 3 liters are commonplace. ;Finland : Commonly sold in 1 L or 1.5 L cartons, in some places also in 2 dl and 5 dl cartons. ;Germany : Commonly sold in 1-liter cartons. Sale in 1-liter plastic bags (common in the 1980s) is now rare. ;Hong Kong : Milk is sold in glass bottles (220 mL), cartons (236 mL and 1 L), plastic jugs (2 liters) and aseptic cartons (250 mL). ;India : Commonly sold in 500 mL plastic bags and in bottles in some parts like in the Western world, West. It is still customary to serve the milk boiled, despite pasteurization. Milk is often buffalo milk. Flavored milk is sold in most convenience stores in waxed cardboard containers. Convenience stores also sell many varieties of milk (such as flavored and ultra-pasteurized) in various sizes, usually in aseptic cartons. ;Indonesia : Usually sold in 1-liter cartons, but smaller, snack-sized cartons are available. ;Italy : Commonly sold in 1-liter cartons or bottles and less commonly in 0.5 or 0.25-liter cartons. Whole milk, semi-skimmed milk, skimmed, lactose-free, and flavored (usually in small packages) milk is available. Milk is sold fresh or UHT. Goat's milk is also available in small amounts. UHT semi-skimmed milk is the most sold, but cafés use almost exclusively fresh whole milk. ;Japan : Commonly sold in 1-liter waxed paperboard cartons. In most city centers there is also Delivery (commerce), home delivery of milk in glass jugs. As seen in China, sweetened and flavored milk drinks are commonly seen in vending machines. ;Kenya :Milk in Kenya is mostly sold in plastic-coated aseptic paper cartons supplied in 300 mL, 500 mL or 1 liter volumes. In rural areas, milk is stored in plastic bottles or gourds. The standard unit of measuring milk quantity in Kenya is a liter. ;Pakistan : Milk is supplied in 500 mL plastic bags and carried in jugs from rural to cities for selling ;Philippines : Milk is supplied in 1000 mL plastic bottles and delivered from factories to cities for selling. ;Poland : UHT milk is mostly sold in aseptic cartons (500 mL, 1 L, 2 L), and non-UHT in 1 L plastic bags or plastic bottles. Milk, UHT is commonly boiled, despite being pasteurized. ;South Africa : Commonly sold in 1-liter bags. The bag is then placed in a plastic jug and the corner cut off before the milk is poured. ;South Korea : Sold in cartons (180 mL, 200 mL, 500 mL 900 mL, 1 L, 1.8 L, 2.3 L), plastic jugs (1 L and 1.8 L), aseptic cartons (180 mL and 200 mL) and plastic bags (1 L). ;Sweden : Commonly sold in 0.3 L, 1 L or 1.5 L cartons and sometimes as plastic or glass milk bottles. ;Turkey : Commonly sold in 500 mL or 1L cartons or special plastic bottles. UHT milk is more popular. Milkmen also serve in smaller towns and villages. ;United Kingdom : Most stores stock Imperial units, imperial sizes: 1 pint (568 mL), 2 pints (1.136 L), 4 pints (2.273 L), 6 pints (3.408 L) or a combination including both metric and imperial sizes. Glass milk bottles delivered to the doorstep by the milkman are typically pint-sized and are returned empty by the householder for repeated reuse. Milk is sold at supermarkets in either aseptic cartons or HDPE bottles. Supermarkets have also now begun to introduce milk in bags, to be poured from a proprietary jug and nozzle. ;United States : Commonly sold in gallon (3.78 L), half-gallon (1.89 L) and quart (0.94 L) containers of natural-colored HDPE resin, or, for sizes less than one gallon, cartons of waxed paperboard. Bottles made of opaque Polyethylene terephthalate, PET are also becoming commonplace for smaller, particularly metric, sizes such as one liter. The U.S. single-serving size is usually the half-pint (about 240 mL). Less frequently, dairies deliver milk directly to consumers, from coolers filled with glass bottles which are typically half-gallon sized and returned for reuse. Some convenience store chains in the United States (such as Kwik Trip in the Midwest) sell milk in half-gallon bags, while another Square milk jug, rectangular cube gallon container design used for easy stacking in shipping and displaying is used by warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam's Club, along with some Walmart stores. ;Uruguay : Pasteurized milk is commonly sold in 1-liter bags and ultra-pasteurized milk is sold in cardboard boxes called Tetra Briks. Non-pasteurized milk is forbidden. Until the 1960s no treatment was applied; milk was sold in bottles. , plastic jugs used for pouring the bags, or "sachets", are in common use. Practically everywhere,
condensed milk Condensed milk is cow's milk from which water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main consti ...
and evaporated milk are distributed in metal cans, 250 and 125 mL paper containers and 100 and 200 mL squeeze tubes, and
powdered milk Powdered milk, also called dried milk, or milk powder, is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and ot ...
(skim and whole) is distributed in boxes or bags.


Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people have symptoms due to deficiency or absence of the enzyme
lactase Lactase is an enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme conve ...

lactase
in the small intestine, causing poor absorption of milk lactose. People affected vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate before symptoms develop, which may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Severity depends on the amount of milk consumed. Those affected are usually able to drink at least one cup of milk without developing significant symptoms, with greater amounts tolerated if drunk with a meal or throughout the day.


Allergies

Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is an immunologically mediated adverse reaction, rarely fatal, to one or more cow's milk proteins. 2.2–3.5% of the global infant population are allergic to cow's milk.


Spoilage and fermented milk products

When raw milk is left standing for a while, it turns "sour". This is the result of fermentation (food), fermentation, where lactic acid bacteria ferment the
lactose Lactose, a disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-g ...

lactose
in the milk into lactic acid. Prolonged fermentation may render the milk unpleasant to consume. This fermentation process is exploited by the introduction of bacterial cultures (e.g. ''Lactobacilli sp., Streptococcus sp., Leuconostoc sp.'', etc.) to produce a variety of fermented milk products. The reduced pH from lactic acid accumulation denatures proteins and causes the milk to undergo a variety of different transformations in appearance and texture, ranging from an aggregate to smooth consistency. Some of these products include sour cream,
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning ...

yogurt
, cheese, buttermilk, viili,
kefir Kefir (also spelled as kephir or kefier, ; ; ) ( ), is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common ...

kefir
, and kumis. ''See Dairy product'' for more information. Pasteurization of cow's milk initially destroys any potential pathogens and increases the shelf life, but eventually results in spoilage that makes it unsuitable for consumption. This causes it to assume an unpleasant odor, and the milk is deemed non-consumable due to unpleasant taste and an increased risk of food poisoning. In raw milk, the presence of lactic acid-producing bacteria, under suitable conditions, ferments the lactose present to lactic acid. The increasing acidity in turn prevents the growth of other organisms, or slows their growth significantly. During pasteurization, however, these lactic acid bacteria are mostly destroyed. In order to prevent spoilage, milk can be kept refrigerator, refrigerated and stored between in bulk tanks. Most milk is pasteurized by heating briefly and then refrigerated to allow transport from factory farming, factory farms to local markets. The spoilage of milk can be forestalled by using ultra-high temperature (Ultra-high-temperature processing, UHT) treatment. Milk so treated can be stored unrefrigerated for several months until opened but has a characteristic "cooked" taste. Condensed milk, made by removing most of the water, can be stored in cans for many years, unrefrigerated, as can evaporated milk.


Powdered milk

The most durable form of milk is
powdered milk Powdered milk, also called dried milk, or milk powder, is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and ot ...
, which is produced from milk by removing almost all water. The moisture content is usually less than 5% in both drum- and spray-dried powdered milk. Freezing of milk can cause fat globule aggregation upon thawing, resulting in milky layers and butterfat lumps. These can be dispersed again by warming and stirring the milk.p. 58
/ref> It can change the taste by destruction of milk-fat globule membranes, releasing oxidized flavors.


Overproduction

Continued improvements in the efficiency of milk production 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 Canadian dollar, C$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 Euro, €200 per . The United States has a voluntary insurance program that pays farmers depending upon the price of milk and the cost of feed.


Use in other food products

Milk is used to make
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning ...

yogurt
, cheese, ice milk, pudding, hot chocolate and french toast, among many other products. Milk is often added to dry breakfast cereal, porridge and granola. Milk is mixed with ice cream and flavored syrups in a blender to make milkshakes. Milk is often served in coffee and tea. Frothy steamed milk is used to prepare espresso-based drinks such as cafe latte.


In language and culture

The importance of milk in human culture is attested to by the numerous expressions embedded in our languages, for example, "the milk of human kindness", the expression "there's no use crying over spilt milk" (which means don't "be unhappy about what cannot be undone"), "don't milk the ram" (this means "to do or attempt something futile") and "Why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?" (which means "why pay for something that you can get for free otherwise"). In Greek mythology, the Milky Way was formed after the trickster god Hermes suckled the infant Heracles at the breast of Hera, the queen of the gods, while she was asleep. When Hera awoke, she tore Heracles away from her breast and splattered her breast milk across the heavens. In another version of the story, Athena, the patron goddess of heroes, tricked Hera into suckling Heracles voluntarily, but he bit her nipple so hard that she flung him away, spraying milk everywhere. In many African and Asian countries, butter is traditionally made from fermented milk rather than cream. It can take several hours of churning to produce workable butter grains from fermented milk. Holy books have also mentioned milk. The Bible contains references to the "Land of Israel, Land of Milk and Honey" as a metaphor for the bounty of the Promised Land. In the Qur'an, there is a request to wonder on milk as follows: "And surely in the livestock there is a lesson for you, We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies from the midst of digested food and blood, pure milk palatable for the drinkers" (16-The Honeybee, 66). The Ramadan fast is traditionally broken with a glass of milk and dates. Abhisheka is conducted by Hinduism, Hindu and Jainism, Jain priests, by pouring libations on the Murti, idol of a deity being worshipped, amidst the chanting of mantras. Usually offerings such as milk,
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning ...

yogurt
, ghee, honey may be poured among other offerings depending on the type of abhishekam being performed. A milksop is an "effeminate spiritless man," an expression which is attested to in the late 14th century. Milk toast is a dish consisting of milk and toast. Its soft blandness served as inspiration for the name of the timid and ineffectual comic strip character Caspar Milquetoast, drawn by H. T. Webster from 1924 to 1952. Thus, the term "milquetoast" entered the language as the label for a timid, shrinking, apologetic person. Milk toast also appeared in Disney's ''Follow Me Boys'' as an undesirable breakfast for the aging main character Lem Siddons. To "milk" someone, in the vernacular of many English-speaking countries, is to take advantage of the person, by analogy to the way a farmer "milks" a cow and takes its milk. The word "milk" has had many slang meanings over time. In the 19th century, milk was used to describe a cheap and very poisonous alcoholic drink made from methylated spirits (methanol) mixed with water. The word was also used to mean defraud, to be idle, to intercept telegrams addressed to someone else, and a weakling or "milksop." In the mid-1930s, the word was used in Australia to refer to siphoning gas from a car.


Non-culinary uses

Besides serving as a beverage or source of food, milk has been described as used by farmers and gardeners as an organic fungicide and fertilizer, however, its effectiveness is debated. Diluted milk solutions have been demonstrated to provide an effective method of preventing powdery mildew on grape vines, while showing it is unlikely to harm the plant. Milk paint is a nontoxic water-based paint. It can be made from milk and Calcium carbonate, lime, generally with pigments added for color. In other recipes, borax is mixed with milk's casein protein in order to activate the
casein Casein ( , from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...

casein
and as a preservative. Milk has been used for centuries as a hair and skin treatment. Hairstylist Richard Marin states that some women rinse their hair with milk to add a shiny appearance to their hair. Cosmetic chemist Ginger King states that milk can "help exfoliate and remove debris [from skin] and make hair softer. Hairstylist Danny Jelaca states that milk's keratin proteins may "add weight to the hair". Some commercial hair products contain milk. A milk bath is a bath taken in milk rather than just water. Often additives such as oatmeal, honey, and scents such as rose, Asteraceae, daisies and essential oils are mixed in. Milk baths use lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, to dissolve the proteins which hold together dead skin cells.


Criticism and controversy

Milk production is resource intensive, with its water footprint per gram of protein being 1.5 times larger than for legumes.


See also

* A2 milk * Babcock test (determines the butterfat content of milk) * Blocked milk duct * Bovine Meat and Milk Factors * Fermented milk products * Health mark * Human breast milk * Lactation * List of dairy products * List of national drinks * Milk line * Milk paint * Milk substitute * Oat milk * Operation Flood * World Milk Day


References


Further reading

* Dillon, John J. ''Seven decades of milk,: A history of New York's dairy industry'' (1941) * Innis, Harold A. ''The dairy industry in Canada'' (1937
online
* Kardashian, Kirk. ''Milk Money: Cash, Cows, and the Death of the American Dairy Farm'' (2012) * Kurlansky, Mark. ''Milk: A 10,000-Year History'' (2019); also published as ''Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas'' (2019) * * * * Smith-Howard, Kendra. ''Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History Since 1900.'' (Oxford University Press; 2013). * Valenze, Deborah. ''Milk: A Local and Global History'' (Yale University Press, 2011) 368 pp. * Wiley, Andrea. ''Re-imagining Milk: Cultural and Biological Perspectives'' (Routledge 2010) (Series for Creative Teaching and Learning in Anthropology)


External links

* {{Authority control Milk, Non-alcoholic drinks Dairy products