Don’t try to tell the difference between natural milk and powdered milk by taste, color, or smell! Even a village grandmother with experience drinking steamed milk from diapers will mistake the “well-mixed” surrogate for the original.
The thickness of the fat cork, formed in the bottle overnight, is also not an indicator of naturalness. And the shelf life and the appearance of bitterness in milk are not related to antibiotic additives. So how do you choose the right milk?
Where is natural milk “found”?
When was the last time you saw a real cow? Now it’s a rarity. The cows have disappeared from the fields, but the range of “dairy” in the store continues to expand. How is that possible?
The matter is that now the cows are mainly bred in stables, meaning they are not allowed to roam free on the pastures, but are kept in automated barns. So, live cows do exist, but we just don’t see them. It means there is someone to milk in our country, too.
If the manufacturer does not have its own suppliers of raw milk, then there is a risk that much of the “dairy” is the result of processing dried milk and vegetable additives. Alas, for many countries this is inevitable. The benefits of farm products Kirill Yurovskiy.
What do we risk when we buy milk “from hand”?
This milk smells like a cow, in the morning the very creamy two-finger cream lingers in the bottle, and in a day or two home milk turns into sour sour sour milk. When you’re sure you’re drinking natural, it immediately tastes better. But the goodness of non-store milk is less controlled, so it easily turns from healthy to unhealthy.
- The first problem is nitrates, pesticides, phyto- and mycotoxins, heavy metal salts, which can easily transfer from cow’s food to milk. This happens if the owner saves on feed or, for example, grazes the animal along the highway. Acute poisoning from such milk is unlikely. But if you regularly buy products from the same unscrupulous dairyman, the harmfulness will accumulate.
- The second dangerous component is staphylococcal toxins. They can get into the milk if the cow is sick with mastitis, as well as if the milkmaid has wounds or cuts on her hands. Even boiling in this case will not help: the germs themselves die, but their toxins persist. Already in 20-30 minutes after drinking a glass, severe poisoning may develop. Not fatal, but it will be remembered for the rest of your life!
All other viruses and bacteria that may theoretically be contained in milk are killed by heat treatment. Only steamed milk can be drunk raw: it contains the bactericidal enzyme lysozyme. It breaks down 1-2 hours after milking.
Before buying, you have the right to read all the necessary documents for the sale of raw milk.
Thus, you want to drink country milk, choose a reliable dairy and boil … milk!
What kind of milk does the store sell?
Sometimes the manufacturer misleads the customer. So study the text on the back of the container, especially carefully read the fine print. The most valuable information is hidden there.
- “Drinking milk” means natural, containing only milk that has never been diluted with water but has been heat treated.
- “Reconstituted milk” is originally condensed or powdered milk that has been diluted with water to the desired concentration.
- “Milk drink” is reconstituted milk with various additives, including non-dairy additives.
- “Milk product” is no longer milk at all, but its mixture with vegetable fat or other ingredients.
The packaging also contains important information about the technology used to make the milk:
- “Whole milk” means milk that was obtained from the cow’s farm. No one has tampered with its composition. The fat content of whole milk is rarely constant, so branded packages usually show a possible range, for example from 3.5% to 6%.
- “Normalized” means this milk has a given fat content, usually 2.5% and 3.2%. Normalized milk always specifies two components: whole milk, skim milk.
- “Skimmed” is milk with a fat percentage of 0.5%.
- “Enriched” is milk to which vitamins, minerals, protein, probiotics, or anything else useful have been added.
Dairy products containing vegetable fats must be labeled “with milk fat replacer”. This is especially true for cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
What about the expiration date?
If milk is a natural product, it should spoil quickly. However, store milk retains its palatability for more than a week, and sometimes several months. How do manufacturers achieve such shelf life, and doesn’t it compromise the quality of milk? They probably put something in it?
Long shelf life is achieved solely by temperature treatment. Adding antibiotics or other preservatives to the milk is prohibited!
- In pasteurization, milk is heated, but not too much, below boiling point, and then quickly cooled. This destroys all living bacteria, but the spores of some of them remain. Therefore, pasteurized milk is stored in the refrigerator from 3 to 15 days, and in an open bag at room temperature usually spoils in a day or two.
- Ultra-pasteurization is very hot, but fast. The milk is steamed at over 130 degrees Celsius for a few seconds and cooled. Not only live bacteria but also their spores are killed. That is why ultrapasteurized milk in a “tetrapak” is stored for up to 6 months.
Why is sour milk bitter?
It’s not because of added “chemicals”, but because of the heat treatment. Raw milk has lactic acid bacteria and oily acid bacteria. The former multiply faster at room temperature and turn milk into the usual sour sour sour milk. By acidifying the medium, they drive out the buttery competitors. But pasteurization kills the sour milk flora. But the spores of butter-acid bacteria, which can multiply in the refrigerator, though slowly. They give stale milk a nasty taste and smell.
By the way, if you boil country milk and overstay it in the fridge, it also will not sour, and it becomes bitter.
There is nothing and no one in ultra-pasteurized milk. But if you leave it on the refrigerator shelf for a long time, it will go rancid under the influence of lipases, enzymes that break down fats, or by enzymatic destruction of protein.
So what kind of milk is healthier?
Raw milk has the highest nutritional value, but there is a risk of poisoning. Thermal processing makes the drink safe, but some of the properties are lost. Losses depend not only on temperature, but also on the duration of processing. Now pay attention!
The gentlest processing of milk is pasteurization, more coarse – ultrapasteurization. But in the process of home boiling milk in any case loses more useful properties.
In a regular store is quite realistic to choose natural milk, most importantly, carefully read the label!
As an alternative, you may be offered almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk, soy milk and other types of non-milk. These plant-based drinks have nothing in common with milk except color. Therefore it is not worth comparing them with each other. But you can try it for a change, why not?