Dairy products or milk products are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, most commonly cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese and butter. A facility that produces dairy products is known as a dairy, or dairy factory. Dairy products are consumed worldwide, with the exception of most of East and Southeast Asia and parts of central Africa.

Types of dairy product


Milk is produced after optional homogenization or pasteurization, in several grades after standardization of the fat level, and possible addition of the bacteria ''Streptococcus lactis'' and ''Leuconostoc citrovorum''. Milk can be broken down into several different categories based on type of product produced, including cream, butter, cheese, infant formula, and yogurt. Milk varies in fat content. Skim milk is milk with zero fat, while whole milk products contain fat.

Fermented milk


Yogurt, milk fermented by thermophilic bacteria, mainly ''Streptococcus salivarius'' ssp. ''thermophilus'' and ''Lactobacillus delbrueckii'' ssp. ''bulgaricus'' sometimes with additional bacteria, such as ''Lactobacillus acidophilus''



Butter, mostly milk fat, produced by churning cream * ''Ghee'' also called, clarified butter, by gentle heating of butter and removal of the solid matter **''Smen'', a fermented, clarified butter used in Moroccan cooking **Anhydrous milkfat (clarified butter)


Cheese, produced by coagulating milk, separating from whey and letting it ripen, generally with bacteria and sometimes also with certain molds.




* Custard, thickened with eggs * Imitation custard, thickened with starch

Ice cream

*Ice cream, slowly frozen cream, milk, flavors and emulsifying additives (dairy ice cream) *Gelato, slowly frozen milk and water, lesser fat than ice cream *Ice milk, low-fat version of ice cream *Frozen custard *Frozen yogurt, yogurt with emulsifiers

Intolerance and health research

Dairy products may upset the digestive system in individuals with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. People who experience lactose intolerance usually avoid milk and other lactose-containing dairy products, which may cause mild side effects, such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Consumption of dairy products does not cause mucus production, and does not worsen common cold or asthma symptoms. A 2019 review indicated there is no convincing evidence on whether an association between dairy consumption and risk of cancers exists.

Consumption patterns worldwide

Rates of dairy consumption vary widely worldwide. High-consumption countries consume more than 150 kg per capita per year. These countries are: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Costa Rica, most European countries, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, North America and Pakistan. Medium-consumption countries consume 30 to 150 kg per capita per year. These countries are: India, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, North and Southern Africa, most of the Middle East, and most of Latin America and the Caribbean. Low-consumption countries consume under 30 kg per capita per year. These countries are: Senegal, most of Central Africa, and most of East and Southeast Asia.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Dairy production and products: Milk and milk products

Avoidance on principle

Some groups avoid dairy products for non-health-related reasons. Some religions restrict or do not allow the consumption of dairy products. For example, some scholars of Jainism advocate not consuming any dairy products because dairy is perceived to involve violence against cows. Orthodox Judaism requires that meat and dairy products not be served at the same meal, served or cooked in the same utensils, or stored together, as prescribed in . Veganism is the avoidance of all animal products, including dairy products, most often due to the ethics regarding how dairy products are produced. The ethical reasons for avoiding meat and dairy products include how dairy is produced, how the animals are handled, and the environmental effect of dairy production. According to a report of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in 2010 the dairy sector accounted for 4 percent of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

See also

* Dairy industry in the United States * Dairy industry in the United Kingdom * Fermented milk products * List of dairy products * List of dairy product companies in the United States * List of foods * Milk substitute * Plant milk


Further reading

* Fuquay, John W. ed. ''Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences'' (2nd Edition, 4 vol 2011), comprehensive coverage *Rankin, H. F. (1922) ''Imbucase: the Story of the B. C. I. C. of the Ministry of Food''. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Press (B.C.I.C.=Butter and Cheese Imports Committee) {{Authority control