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Glossary of Milk, Cheese and Dairy Terms

  • Homogenized: A process that mixes the milk to reduce the fat globules in size, so they no longer separate and float to the top. The process prevents the cream from separating out and gives the milk a more uniform colour. Fat floats on top of milk that has not been homogenized.
  • Pasteurised milk has been heat-treated to kill bugs and prevent spoilage. It's particularly important that milk produced on an industrial scale is pasteurised. Collecting and pooling milk from many different farms increases the risk that a given batch will be contaminated, and the plumbing and machinery needed for the various stages of processing also increase opportunities for contamination.
    Long-life milk has been pasteurised using the ultra-high temperature (UHT) method. If packaged under strictly sterile conditions, it can be stored for months without refrigeration.
    Organic milk comes from organically farmed animals fed a variety of foods natural to their diet, and allowed free movement and natural light and ventilation while inside.
    Biodynamic: You'll see this on the label of milks sourced from farms that use the biodynamic farming method. Biodynamic farming shares principles with organic farming (such as requiring that any fertilisers used are based on biodegradable material of microbial, plant or animal origin produced from organic practices) but has additional requirements for enhancing the soil's structure and nutrient cycles.