Milk and milk products must comply with the European hygiene regulations
To provide a safe milk fit for consumption the industry defined certain thresholds for germs and somatic cells. These give a good indication of hygiene and health.
The product should not contain antibiotic (residue). Control on this is often applied.
Liquid milk is used for different purposes in the dairy industry. After the milk is collected at the farm it will be prepared for transformation into many different dairy products. Often the milk composition will be standardized. Milk standardization consists in adapting milk fat and/or protein content. The objective is to produce a consistent dairy product with the right fat and/or protein content. As in any food production process, traceability of the product in the total supply chain is important.
Compositions of milk
Skimmed milk 0,5% fat
Semi-skimmed milk 1,5% fat
Whole milk 3,5% fat
Raw milk 3,5% fat
Milk for human consumption can be divided into:
Micro filtered or raw milk: These types of milk undergo only physical treatments (fat- and/or protein- standardization or mineral or vitamin standardization, homogenization to prevent creaming issues)
Sterilized milk: Sterilization is a heat treatment that tries to destroy all the microorganisms that may be in the milk. This can be done by applying one of the following time/temperatures-combinations:
1. 140 C for 4 seconds (Ultra High Temperature (UHT))
2. 120 C for 20 minutes
Pasteurized milk: Pasteurization is a 15-20 seconds heat treatment at 72-76 C. The goal is to reduce a significantly part of the microorganisms. This in order to guarantee a longer shelflife and safety.