Introduction – What is whole milk?
Ever wondered what is whole milk? – Well, whole milk categorically refers to cow’s milk that has not undergone any sort of nutritional alteration. Nutritionally, the milk is taken from the cow as is and processed for food safety. Due to food safety processes such as pasteurization, whole milk is not considered raw milk and is totally safe to consume in accordance with the milk producer’s recommended shelf life. In whole milk, the amount of fat and other nutritional indicators are not adjusted, which means that nothing is removed, nor is the milk fortified with other nutrients.
The fortification of milk by adding vitamins and minerals is not an uncommon practice among milk producers. Whole milk is sometimes also referred to as fresh milk or regular milk in the consumer retail market. From a taste and nutritional perspective, whole milk typically has a higher fat content along with the full suite of nutrients found in cow’s milk. It is therefore the recommended type of milk as whole cow’s milk is a great source of protein and calcium, among other vitamins and minerals. It is also likely to taste the richest and creamiest in contrast to other types of milk. However, other alternative types of milk are sometimes considered by individuals who are lactose intolerant or individuals who may prefer the taste, texture, and lowered fat content found in reduced fat milk or skim milk.
Are there different types of whole milk?
When looking at cow’s milk, whole milk all around the world is typically produced using Holstein cows, which is the breed which we commonly perceive as the black and white coloured cows. However, this isn’t the only breed of cow which is used in milk production. Though much less common in terms of the total volume produced, some milk producers like Greenfields also make use of the milk from a Jersey cow, which is what we commonly perceive as the brown coloured cows. Jersey milk made from Jersey cows contains a higher fat content as compared to milk from a Holstein cow and results in it being richer and creamier in texture.
How do I know if I am buying whole milk?
As shared earlier, in supermarkets today, whole milk is typically sold under the term fresh milk, which distinguishes it from other milk formats such as Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) Milk. Skim milk and low-fat milk products will be labelled as such and are therefore not easily confused with fresh milk and whole milk. However, if you are looking to ensure that you do not purchase milk that is artificially fortified with added vitamins and minerals, you will need to look beyond the front label, and scrutinize the nutritional chart shown on the milk carton. As Greenfields Milk does not go through any artificial fortification, you can use it as a reference point when shopping for fresh milk and whole milk. Typically, fortified milk will have comparable fat and protein levels, but will show significantly higher concentrations of vitamins and other minerals.
What are the benefits of using whole milk?
There are plenty of benefits that whole milk offers as an ingredient as compared to other types of milk. Firstly, because of its higher fat content, whole milk is regarded as the most creamy and delicious, with a pleasant and rich mouthfeel. When paired with breakfast foods such as cereals and oatmeal, whole milk provides the necessary creaminess that complements these food products. If you are a coffee lover and love your morning lattes from your local speciality coffee shop, you will also be glad to know that the milk of choice in such use cases is whole milk. In order for the barista to produce smooth and velvety frothed milk that is used in latte art free pouring, they typically use whole milk, where the fat content has a crucial part to play in how smooth and rich the frothed milk is when poured and mixed with the espresso. While low-fat milk and skim milk can also be used in similar applications, there is definitely a small compromise when it comes to taste. In cooking and baking, whole milk is also usually recommended as it not only provides the recipe with richer tastes and flavours but also with a more prominent body and texture.