What’s the Skinny on Milk Solids? | Definitions | International Dairy Foods Association

Pitcher of milk on a white background

Pitcher of milk on a white background

Definitions

Milk is approximately 87 percent water and 13 percent solids. As it comes from the cow, the solids portion of milk contains approximately 3.7 percent fat and 9 percent solids-not-fat. Milk fat carries the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The solids-not-fat portion consists of protein (primarily casein and lactalbumin), carbohydrates (primarily lactose), and minerals (including calcium and phosphorus). Milk also contains significant amounts of riboflavin and other water soluble vitamins. Federal definitions and standards of identity specify the minimum levels of milk fat and solids-not-fat for the various milks shipped in interstate commerce.

Milk – Contains not less than 3.25 percent milk fat and 8.25 percent solids-not-fat. Addition of vitamins A and D is optional, but if added, vitamin A must be present at a level of not less than 2,000 International Units (I.U.) Per quart; vitamin D is optional, but must be present at a level of 400 I.U., if added. Characterizing flavoring ingredients may also be added.

Cultured Milk – Contains not less than 3.25 percent milk fat and not less than 8.25 percent milk solids-non-fat. It is produced by culturing any of the following milk products alone or in combination: cream, milk, partially skimmed milk or skim milk with appropriate characterizing bacteria. The addition of certain characterizing ingredients and lactic-acid producing bacteria may permit, for example, the product to be labeled “kefir cultured milk,” “acidophilus cultured milk,” or “cultured buttermilk.”

Half-and-Half – Consists of a mixture of milk and cream containing not less than 10.5 percent milkfat, but less than 18 percent milkfat.

Light Cream – contains not less than 18 percent milkfat, but less than 30 percent. Light cream may also be called “coffee cream” or “table cream.”

Light Whipping Cream – contains not less than 30 percent milkfat, but less than 36 percent milkfat. Light whipping cream may also be called “whipping cream.”

Heavy Cream – contains not less than 36 percent milkfat. Heavy cream may also be called “heavy whipping cream.”

Sour Cream – is the product resulting from the addition of lactic acid-producing bacteria to pasteurized cream containing not less than 18 percent milkfat. Sour cream may also be called “cultured sour cream.”

Dry Curd Cottage Cheese – is a soft, unripened cheese made from skim milk and/or reconstituted nonfat dry milk. The cheese curd is formed by the addition of either lactic acid producing bacteria or acidifiers. The latter process is called direct acidification. Rennet and/or other suitable enzymes may be used to assist curd formation. Dry curd cottage cheese contains less than 0.5 percent milkfat and not more than 80 percent moisture. The product may also be called “cottage cheese dry curd.”

Cottage Cheese – is the product resulting from the addition of a creaming mixture (dressing) to dry curd cottage cheese. Cottage cheese contains not less than 4 percent milkfat and not more than 80 percent moisture.

Yogurt – is the product resulting from the culturing of a mixture of milk and cream products with the lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Yogurt contains not less than 3.25 percent milkfat and 8.25 percent solids-not-fat.

Evaporated Milk – is made by removing about 60 percent of milk’s water. It contains not less than 6.5 percent milkfat, not less than 16.5 percent milk solids-not-fat, and not less than 23 percent by weight of total milk solids. Evaporated milk is a heat-sterilized product with an extended shelf life.

Sweetened Condensed Milk – results from the removal of about 60 percent of the water from a mixture of milk (whole and nonfat pasteurized, homogenized milks) and safe and suitable nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners such as sucrose. This product contains not less than 8 percent milk fat and not less than 28 percent total milk solids.

Nonfat Dry Milk – is made by removing water from pasteurized skim (nonfat or fat free) milk. The product contains not more than 5 percent by weight of moisture, and not more than 1.5 percent by weight of milkfat unless otherwise indicated.

Ice Cream – consists of a mixture of dairy ingredients such as milk and nonfat milk, and ingredients for sweetening and flavoring, such as fruits, nuts and chocolate chips. Functional ingredients, such as stabilizers and emulsifiers, are often included in the product to promote proper texture and enhance the eating experience. By federal law, ice cream must contain at least 10 percent milkfat, before the addition of bulky ingredients, and must weigh a minimum of 4.5 pounds to the gallon.

Frozen Custard or French Ice Cream must also contain a minimum of 10 percent milkfat, as well as at least 1.4 percent egg yolk solids.Sherbets have a milkfat content of between 1 percent and 2 percent, and a slightly higher sweetener content than ice cream. Sherbet weighs a minimum of 6 pounds to the gallon and is flavored either with fruit or other char

Source: Definitions | International Dairy Foods Association

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