Milk is poured into cereal. We might want milk for our cookies or hot chocolate. We can use milk to bake. It’s usually in our cheeses, butters, and ice creams. Milk is often the first thing we drink as newborn babies. According to TED Ed, “the milk industry produces in excess of 840 million tons of products each year” and cow milk accounts for “over 80% of global consumption and utilization for production of other dairy products.”

How is milk made? Why do humans drink so much milk? And why might you have a cow image on your milk carton instead of a goat or sheep? Find out in The Science of Milk. Plus, some info on milk’s ingredients:

Milk is comprised of five main components, water, protein, fat, carbohydrates (i.e., lactose) and lesser components (i.e., vitamins and minerals). The proteins in milk are divided between caseins and whey proteins, and are often extracted from milk for use in nutrition applications, such as infant formulae and protein powders. The fat in milk is known as butterfat and is predominately used in the manufacture of creams, margarine, butter, and cream liquors. The final main component in milk is lactose which is approximately 20% the sweetness of table sugar (i.e., sucrose).

…The composition of milk varies significantly depending on the species, their diet, and, more importantly, their habitat. In habitats which are harsher in terms of temperature, such as the Arctic Circle, a higher percentage of fat and protein is required to ensure adequate growth of the infant to maturity.

Related searches: Lactose intolerance and veganism.

Next, more milk + science: Edible milk-based packaging, an alternative to plastic and The Color Changing Milk Experiment.

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