The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Dairy product

Dairy products are generally defined as foodstuffs produced from milk. A production plant for such processing is called a dairy. Raw milk for processing generally comes from cows, but occasionally from other mammals such as goats, sheep, water buffalo, yaks or horses.

Dairy farm
Dairy farm

There are more than 30 main products made from milk with a number of sub-products in each category. Dairy products include:

  • Milk, after optional homogenization, pasteurization, in several grades after standardization of the fat level
    • Cream, the fat skimmed off the top of milk or separated by machine-centrifuges
    • Cultured buttermilk , fermented concentrated (water removed) milk using the same bacteria as sour cream
    • Milk powder (or powdered milk), produced by removing the water from milk
      • Whole milk & buttermilk
      • Skim milk
      • Cream
      • High milk-fat & nutritional powders (for infant formulas)
      • Cultured and confectionary powders
    • Condensed milk, milk which has been concentrated by evaporation, often with sugar added for longer life in an opened can
    • Evaporated milk, (less concentrated than condensed) milk without added sugar
    • Khoa
    • Infant formula, dried milk powder with specific additives for feeding human infants
  • Butter, mostly milk fat, produced by churning cream
    • Buttermilk, the liquid left over after producing butter from cream, often dried as stock food
    • Butter cream ?
    • Ghee, clarified butter, by gentle heating of butter and removal of the solid matter
    • Anhydrous milkfat
  • Cheese, produced by coagulating milk, separating from whey and letting it ripen, generally with bacteria and sometimes also with certain molds
    • Curds, the soft curdled part of milk (or skim milk) used to make cheese (or casein)
    • Whey, the liquid drained from curds and used for further processing or as a stock food
    • Cottage cheese
    • Cream cheese, produced by the addition of cream to milk and then curdled to form a rich curd or cheese made from skim milk with cream added to the curd
    • Fromage frais
  • Casein
    • Caseinates
    • Milk protein concentrates and isonates
    • Whey protein concentrates and isonates
    • Hydrolysates
    • Mineral concentrates
  • Gelato, slowly frozen milk and water

Got Milk? is an international organization supporting dairy products, especially milk.


Most dairy products were developed in Europe; the people of that continent have traditionally been the most aggressive in terms of exploiting cattle as a primary food source.

Dairy products were exported to the rest of the world during the imperialism phase of human history. They are now universally popular, despite the fact that the majority of the human species cannot consume them in adulthood without embarassing side effects. See lactose intolerance.

Eggs as dairy?

Most dictionaries define "dairy" in terms of milk products, which would naturally exclude eggs. What's more, the etymology of "dairy" does not seem to have any particular connection to eggs. Nonetheless, popular usage sometimes counts eggs as dairy products; the Open Directory Project, for example, at one point took cooking eggs as a subcategory of cooking dairy products.

Grocery stores in North America often stock eggs very near to "real" dairy products, such that one can often find cartons of eggs sitting under a sign saying "dairy". This could conceivably be either a cause or an effect (or both) of the conception of eggs as dairy products.

External links

Last updated: 06-02-2005 13:03:14
Last updated: 08-16-2005 02:36:48