Food Commodities | Milk, Types of Milk, Uses of Milk, Vegetables, Fruits

Milk, a creamy and nutritious liquid produced by female mammals to nourish their young, is predominantly sourced from cows. It is considered nature’s perfect food for children due to its comprehensive nutrient content, although it may not suffice for adults. Additionally, milk is valued in the diets of invalids and convalescents for its easy digestibility […]

Milk, a creamy and nutritious liquid produced by female mammals to nourish their young, is predominantly sourced from cows. It is considered nature’s perfect food for children due to its comprehensive nutrient content, although it may not suffice for adults. Additionally, milk is valued in the diets of invalids and convalescents for its easy digestibility and high nutritional value.

 

Food Value of Milk:

  1. a) Protein: Milk contains 3.5% protein, primarily casein, with additional albumen and globulin.
  2. b) Carbohydrate: Lactose, a disaccharide, serves as the carbohydrate component.
  3. c) Fat: Milk features fat in the form of a fine emulsion, easily digestible.
  4. d) Minerals: Small quantities of mineral salts like calcium, phosphorus, and iron are present.
  5. e) Vitamins: Milk contains fat-soluble vitamins (A&D) and B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B12).
  6. f) Water: Approximately 87.2% of milk comprises water.

 

Types of Milk:

  1. Fresh Whole Milk: Directly obtained from cows with no removal of components.
  2. Skimmed Milk: Fat content is removed, leaving protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Semi-Skimmed Milk: Homogenized and pasteurized, with a fat content between 1.5% and 1.8%.
  4. Dried or Powdered Milk: Over 90% of water is removed, milled to powder form.
  5. Evaporated Milk: 60% of water content is removed.
  6. Condensed Milk: Sweetened evaporated milk, sweeter and thicker.
  7. Soya Milk: Obtained from soya beans, an alternative for vegans and those intolerant to cow milk.
  8. Rice Milk: Obtained from white rice, an alternative for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals.
  9. Coconut Milk: High in saturated fats, used as a drink or ingredient in sauces.

 

Digestibility of Milk:

The digestion of milk depends on clot size in the stomach. Factors influencing clot density include calcium and casein content, acidity of gastric juice, and methods to enhance digestibility like dilution, aeration, consumption with solid foods, and boiling.

 

Storage of Milk:

Milk, a perishable product, should be stored in its delivery container in the refrigerator, covered to avoid absorbing odors. Fresh milk and cream should be purchased daily. Tinned milk is stored in a cool, dry, ventilated room, while dried milk is stored in airtight tins in a dry store.

 

Preservation of Milk/Heat Treatment:

Common preservation methods include evaporation, dehydration, pasteurization, sterilization, U.H.T (ultra-high-temperature), and homogenization.

 

Uses of Milk:

Milk is used in soups, sauces, puddings, cakes, sweet dishes, cooking fish and vegetables, and as hot and cold drinks.

 

Milk/Dairy Products:

 

Cheese:

Made from milk, it requires approximately 5 liters to produce ½ kg. Types include hard, semi-hard, soft/cream, blue-vein, and cheese spread.

 

Yoghurt:

Produced by bacterial fermentation of milk, yoghurt is versatile and can be consumed as a refreshing meal or added to dishes to enhance flavor.

 

Vegetables:

Plants or plant parts cultivated for food, vegetables are classified into various types based on their parts. They offer second-class protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water.

 

Storage of Vegetables:

Vegetables should be stored in a cool, dry, ventilated room, with regular checks for freshness. Different types of vegetables have specific storage requirements.

 

Preservation of Vegetables:

Methods include canning, dehydration/drying, pickling, salting, and freezing.

 

Fruits:

Fruits are classified as fresh or dried, each with a unique set of types and nutritive values. Fresh fruits can be served whole, juiced, diluted, in salads, or used for preserves.

 

Nutritive Value of Fruits:

Fruits contain vitamins (especially vitamin C), carbohydrates, minerals, and water.

 

Methods of Preservation of Fruits:

Preservation methods include drying, canning, bottling, quick freezing, cold storage, and gas storage.

 

Points to Consider When Purchasing Fruits:

Freshness, absence of insect infestation, ripeness, firmness, and adherence to seasonal availability are crucial considerations.

 

Milk and dairy products, vegetables, and fruits contribute significantly to a balanced and nutritious diet, with various preservation methods ensuring their availability and quality.

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