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Before grading or inspection of a dairy product
is provided, the processing plant must meet
USDA's specifications for quality and sanitation.
A USDA dairy inspector checks the plant, incom-
ing raw products, and processing and packaging
More information on the U.S. grades is given in
the listings for butter, cheese, and instant nonfat
dry milk in the dairy dictionary that follows.
Milk available in stores today is usually
pasteurized and homogenized.
In pasteurizing, milk is heated briefly to kill
harmful bacteria, and it is then chilled rapidly.
Homogenized milk is processed to reduce the
size of the milkfat globules so the cream does not
separate and the product stays uniform
Depending on its milkfat content, fluid milk is
labeled milk, lowfat milk, or skim milk. Vitamin D
may be added to any of these milks, and the milk
is then so labeled. If added, the vitamin D content
must be increased to at least 400 International
Units (I.U.) per quart. Lowfat and skim milk are
fortified with vitamin A (at least 2,000 I.U. per
quart), usually providing more vitamin A than
whole milk. The protein and other vitamin and
mineral content of milks with reduced milkfat are
equivalent to that of whole milk.
Federal, State, and local laws or regulations
control the composition, processing, and han-
dling of milk. Federal laws apply when packaged or
bottled milk is shipped interstate.
The Pasteurized Milk Ordinance of the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, requires that all
packaged or bottled milk shipped interstate be
pasteurized to protect consumers. Milk can be
labeled "Grade A" if it meets FDA or State stand-
ards under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. The
Grade A rating designates wholesomeness rather
than a level of quality. According to the standards
recommended in the ordinance, Grade A
pasteurized milk must come from healthy cows
and be produced, pasteurized, and handled under
strict sanitary controls which are enforced by
State and local milk sanitation officials.
In the definitions that follow, the composition
or milkfat content given for a product (except for
butter) is that required under FDA regulations.
Your State laws or regulations may differ some-
what from FDA's. The milkfat content of butter is
set by a Federal law.
Whole milk is usually homogenized and fortified
with vitamin D. For shipment in interstate com-
merce, it must contain a minimum of 3.25 per-
cent milkfat. The milk must also meet minimum
milkfat requirements set by the State or
municipality where it is sold.
Lowfat milk has between 0.5 and 2 percent
milkfat and is fortified with vitamin A. The addi-
Stion of vitamin D is optional.
Tip on Lowfat Milk
Lowfat milk can be made at home by mixing half
whole milk with half skim milk or reconstituted in-
stant nonfat dry milk.
Skim milk must have less than 0.5 percent
milkfat and must be fortified with vitamin A. The
addition of vitamin D is optional.
Tip on Skim Milk
The flavor and food value of skim milk can be
improved by adding a teaspoonful of instant non-
fat dry milk to each glass.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries with support from LYRASIS anrd he Sloan Founolaion
Sweetened Condensed Milk
This concentrated canned milk is prepared by
removing about half the water from whole milk.
Often used in candy and dessert recipes,
sweetened condensed milk has at least 40 per-
cent sugar by weight.
FDA sets standards of composition for milk and
different types of cream. These standards give
minimum milkfat requirements which must be met
if the product is to be shipped in interstate com-
Light Cream (Table or Coffee)
Light cream (Table or Coffee) must have at least
18 percent milkfat and less than 30 percent.
Tip on Light Cream (Table or Coffee)
For maximum shelf life, do not return unused
cream from a pitcher to its original container.
Store it separately in the refrigerator. Try to pour
only as much from the original container as you
need at one time.
Half-and-Half is made by homogenizing a mix-
ture of milk and cream. It must contain at least
10.5 percent milkfat, but not more than 18 per-
Tip on Half-and-Half
Half-and-half can be mixed at home using half
homogenized whole milk and half light cream.
Light Whipping Cream
Light whipping cream must have at least 30 per-
cent milkfat and less than 36 percent.
Tip on Light Whipping Cream
To whip this kind of cream, have both the
bowl and cream well chilled.
Heavy cream must have at least 36 percent
Tip on Heavy Cream
Although heavy cream is more easily whipped
than light whipping cream, it will whip still more
easily if you have the cream and the bowl well
chilled. Don't over-whip heavy cream; it may be-
Sour cream is usually made by adding a special
bacterial culture to light cream. The bacteria pro-
duce lactic acid, which sours the cream. Some-
times manufacturers use food-grade acid instead
of bacteria to make sour cream. The product must
be labeled acidified sour cream if this process is
used. Acidified sour cream has the same whole-
someness as sour cream; the only difference is the
manufacturing process. Both sour cream and acidi-
fied sour cream are smooth and thick and meet the
milkfat requirements for light cream.
A bacterial culture or a food-grade acid is used
to make sour half-and-half. FDA standards of iden-
tity require the product to be labeled acidified
sour half-and-half if food-grade acid is used.
Tip on Sour Half-and-Half
Use sour half-and-half instead of sour cream
if you prefer less fat.
Process cheese is a blend of cheeses which
have been shredded, mixed, heated, and then
molded. No further ripening occurs. Process
cheese may contain pimentos, fruits, vegeta-
bles or meats.
If the label says "process cheese food ," other
ingredients such as nonfat dry milk or whey solids
and water have been added, resulting in a lower
milkfat content and more moisture than process
"Process cheese spread" has an even higher
moisture content and lower milkfat content than
process cheese and cheese food. As a result, it's
Process cheese products usually come packed
in slices, loaves, and jars.
Cottage cheese is a soft unripened cheese that
comes in three styles: cottage cheese, dry curd
cottage cheese, and lowfat cottage cheese. The
milkfat content of each is defined in FDA stand-
ards of identity.
Dry curd cottage cheese must contain less than
0.5 percent milkfat.
Cottage cheese must have a milkfat content of
at least 4 percent. To make cottage cheese, curd
is mixed with a creaming mixture to raise the milk-
fat content to the required level.
The milkfat content of lowfat cottage cheese
must be between 0.5 and 2 percent. FDA regula-
tion require that the milkfat content of lowfat cot-
tage cheese be listed on the container to the
nearest one-half percent.
Cottage cheese may bear the
USDA "Quality Approved"
shield if it is of good quality QUALITY APPROVED
and made under USDA supervi- USDEPT OFAGRICULTURE
sion. During processing, a UALITYCONTROL SERVICE
USDA inspector keeps constant
check on all aspects of product
quality, right down to a final
check on the product in con-
Tips on Cottage Cheese
No matter what kind of cottage cheese you
buy, use it within a few days after purchase.
Cottage cheese is available in either large or
Milk is cultured with a special bacteria to make
the custard-like product yogurt. The milk is usually
homogenized and always pasteurized before the
bacteria are added. Yogurt has a good nutritive
value with no more milkfat than whole milk. Yogurt
is available in the following forms:
Yogurt-must contain at least 3.25 percent
Lowfat Yogurt-must contain at least 0.5 per-
cent but not more than 2 percent milkfat.
Nonfat Yogurt-contains less than 0.5 per-
Tips on Yogurt
If separation occurs, just stir the liquid back
into the yogurt.
Yogurt is commonly available in sundae-style
(with the fruit on the bottom) and swiss-style
(with the fruit distributed throughout the
yogurt). Yogurt also may be found in a frozen
and drinkable form.
Unopened fruit flavored yogurt may be frozen
up to 6 weeks. To defrost, let the yogurt stand
at room temperature about 3 hours.
If the word "sweetened" appears on the label,
it means that a nutritive carbohydrate sweet-
ner has been added.
If the yogurt has been heat treated, the words
"heat treated after culturing" must appear
on the label.
Ice cream is made from cream, milk, sweeteners,
flavorings, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. To be
shipped in interstate commerce, it must contain at
least 10 percent milkfat.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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HOW TO I 3 1262 08582 9520
AA & U.S.
Fluid milk: whole,
Dry milk: whole,
Butter: salted or
sweet, regular or
FNC UID L ll INSPICIONl O
iii U 5 OIPi Of IAAICULIUII
Found on butter,
Mean good flavor,
texture; high quality.
Found on instant non-
fat dry milk. Means
Revised January 1978
Slightly Revised February 1983
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