Milk is the most complete form of food. It contains almost every nutrient the body needs. In the west, most milk for human consumption comes from cows, although goats’ milk is becoming more popular, particularly in America.
Milk in all its forms (butter, cheese, yogurt) is used extensively in cooking. Soups, sauces, custards and puddings all require milk.
Milk is pasteurized to destroy disease-carrying bacteria. It is heated to 161 °F (72°C) for 15 seconds, then rapidly cooled to 50 F (10DC). Pasteurized milk is sometimes homogenized. The milk is forced, under very high pressure, through a tiny valve to break up the clusters of milk fat globules to a uniform size. This is done so that the fat globules are distributed evenly in the milk and do not rise to the top of the milk in a layer of cream.
Ultra Heat Treatment The U.H.T. process is similar to pasteurization except that the milk is heated to 270°F (132°C) for 1 second. It is then packed into cartons under sterile conditions and will keep without refrigeration for several months.
Its flavour is similar to that of pasteurized, homogenized milk. Sterilized Milk
Homogenized milk is poured into bottles which are closed with a hermetic seal. The bottles are then heated to 230°F (110’C). Because of this high heat the milk appears thicker and creamier than pasteurized milk and it often has a slightly ‘cooked’ flavour. Sterilized milk will keep almost indefinitely, unopened, without refrigeration. Untreated or Raw Milk
This is milk that has not been treated in any way. It is very hard to obtain, since only a few farmers in country areas are allowed to produce it for resale. Dried
Dried milk is prepared from whole, partly skimmed or skimmed milk. It can be instantly or more slowly reconstituted depending on the method by which it was dried.
Dried skim milk keeps better than full cream dried milk after opening, since the removal of the fat prevents the milk from becoming rancid. Filled Milk
This is milk from which the cream has been removed and replaced by another form of fat, usually vegetable oils. Filled milk is always cheaper than full cream milk.