Dairy product

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Dairy products are derived from milk.
Milk products and production relationships

Dairy products, milk products or lacticinia[1] are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, primarily cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, camels, and humans. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese, and butter.[2][3] A facility that produces dairy products is known as a dairy, or dairy factory.[4] Dairy products are consumed worldwide, with the exception of much of East and Southeast Asia and also some parts of central Africa.[5]

Types of dairy product[edit]

Three South African dairy products: a box of full cream, long-life milk, a bottle of strawberry drinking yogurt, and a carton of passionfruit yogurt
The milk products of water buffalo (super carabaos, Philippine Carabao Center)

Milk is produced after optional homogenization or pasteurization, in several grades after standardization of the fat level, and possible addition of the bacteria Streptococcus lactis and Leuconostoc citrovorum. Milk can be broken down into several different categories based on type of product produced, including cream, butter, cheese, infant formula, and yogurt.  

  • Infant formula, dried milk powder with specific additives for feeding human infants
  • High milk-fat and nutritional products (for infant formulas)
  • Confectionery products
    • Milk chocolate
  • Butter, mostly milk fat, produced by churning cream
    • Ghee, clarified butter, by gentle heating of butter and removal of the solid matter
    • Smen, a fermented, clarified butter used in Moroccan cooking
    • Anhydrous milkfat (clarified butter)
  • Cheese, produced by coagulating milk, separating from whey and letting it ripen, generally with bacteria and sometimes also with certain molds
  • Fresh cheeses and curds, the soft, curdled part of milk (or skim milk) used to make cheese
  • Casein are
    • Caseinates, sodium or calcium salts of casein
    • Milk protein concentrates and isolates
    • Whey protein concentrates and isolates, reduced lactose whey
    • Hydrolysates, milk treated with proteolytic enzymes to alter functionality
    • Mineral concentrates, byproduct of demineralizing whey
  • Ice cream, slowly frozen cream, milk, flavors and emulsifying additives (dairy ice cream)
  • Custard


Dairy products can cause problems for individuals who have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.[6][7]

Excessive consumption of dairy products can contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet, which can increase the risk of heart disease, and cause other serious health problems.[8]

There is no excess cardiovascular risk with dietary calcium intake, but calcium supplements are associated with a higher risk of coronary artery calcification.[9]

Consumption of dairy products does not cause mucus production, and will not make cold or asthma symptoms worse.[10] This widely held belief stems from some people mistaking the thin coat of residue left behind after consuming milk or ice cream for mucus.[11]

Consumption patterns worldwide[edit]

Rates of dairy consumption vary widely worldwide. High-consumption countries consume more than 150 kg per capita per year. These countries are: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Costa Rica, most European counties, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, North America and Pakistan. Medium-consumption countries consume 30 to 150 kg per capita per year. These countries are: India, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, North and Southern Africa, most of the Middle East, and most of Latin America and the Caribbean. Low-consumption countries consume under 30 kg per capita per year. These countries are: Senegal, most of Central Africa, and most of East and Southeast Asia.[5][12]


Some groups avoid dairy products for non-health related reasons:

  • Religious – Some religions restrict or do not allow for the consumption of dairy products. For example, some scholars of Jainism advocate not consuming any dairy products because dairy is perceived to involve violence against cows. Strict Judaism requires that meat and dairy products not be served at the same meal, served or cooked in the same utensils, or stored together, as prescribed in Deuteronomy 14:21.[13]
  • Vegans – Veganism is the avoidance of all animal products, including dairy products, most often due to the ethics regarding how dairy products are produced. The ethical reasons for avoiding dairy include how dairy is produced, how the animals are handled, and the environmental effect of dairy production.[14][15]
  • Lactose intolerance - people who experience lactose intolerance usually prefer to avoid milk and other dairy products for health reasons, as they may cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dictionary : LACTICINIA". www.catholicculture.org.
  2. ^ "Dairy | Clemson University, South Carolina". www.clemson.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  3. ^ "Is Butter a Dairy Product, and Does it Contain Lactose?". Authority Nutrition. 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  4. ^ "Definition of DAIRY". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  5. ^ a b Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Dairy production and products: Milk and milk products" [1]
  6. ^ "Lactose intolerance". Genetics Home Reference. 2016-02-08. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  7. ^ "Milk Allergy – Food Allergy Research & Education". www.foodallergy.org. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  8. ^ "Saturated Fat". Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  9. ^ Anderson JJ, Kruszka B, Delaney JA, et al. (October 2016). "Calcium intake from diet and supplements and the risk of coronary artery calcification and its progression among older adults: 10-year follow-up of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)". J Am Heart Assoc. 5 (10): e003815. doi:10.1161/jaha.116.003815. PMC 5121484. PMID 27729333.
  10. ^ Pinnock, CB; Graham, NM; Mylvaganam, A; Douglas, RM (1990). "Relationship between milk intake and mucus production in adult volunteers challenged with rhinovirus-2". The American Review of Respiratory Disease. 141 (2): 352–56. doi:10.1164/ajrccm/141.2.352. PMID 2154152.
  11. ^ Michigan Dairy Review "Ten Common Myths about Dairy Foods Zey Ustunol Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition https://msu.edu/~mdr/vol15no2/myths.html
  12. ^ "WHO | 3. Global and regional food consumption patterns and trends". WHO. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  13. ^ "Kosher and Halal".
  14. ^ "Ethical Reasons to Give Up Dairy Products - dummies". dummies. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  15. ^ "My year of eating ethically". The Independent. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2017-01-21.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rankin, H. F. (1922) Imbucase: the Story of the B. C. I. C. of the Ministry of Food. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Press (B.C.I.C.=Butter and Cheese Imports Committee)

External links[edit]