Regular or full-fat milk
On average contains 3.8% milk fat and no less than 3.2% milk fat. It’s pasteurised and homogenised. Also known as full-cream or whole milk, it has a rich and creamy texture.
Reduced-fat milk has approximately 2% milk fat and may have extra protein and calcium added.
Has less than 1.5% milk fat and the same nutritional benefits with boosted calcium content.
Has no more than 0.15% milk fat. Milk solids are added to optimise the taste.
May be protein-enriched, high in calcium, iron-fortified or low in lactose to cater for a range of dietary requirements.
Ultra-filtration (UF) milk
This style of milk is also enriched with protein and calcium.
Lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk
Suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. Lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk has some or all of the lactose (the sugar found naturally in milk) removed, making it more easily digested for those with lactose intolerance.
Buttermilk or cultured milk
Has a tangy flavour similar to natural yogurt and is excellent for baking. A special starter culture is added to the pasteurised milk to develop the flavour and acidity.
Flavours are added to full-fat, reduced-fat, skim, modified or long-life milk. While they may have added calcium they can also have a higher kilojoule level. Some are sweetened with low kilojoule sweeteners.
May be full-fat or reduced-fat milk that has had nutrients added such as calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. This is in addition to the nutrients naturally found in milk.
Tips on handling fresh milk
Packaging milk in cartons or opaque plastic containers ensures that the milk is protected from sunlight. Although glass bottles are available, remember that exposure to sunlight will partially destroy some of the vitamins, particularly riboflavin (vitamin B2) and will make the milk taste unpleasant.
- Keep milk refrigerated at 4°C in the original package as temperature fluctuations will shorten its shelf life.
- The use-by date gives the expected shelf life (usually 10 days) when refrigerated at 4°C.
- Milk containers should always be covered as milk will absorb other flavours and become tainted.
- Freezing milk can destabilise the main protein, casein. The milk may appear slightly curdy when thawed.