Did you drink milk as such or take it in coffee or tea this morning? Our elders tell us that it is good for health. Well, they are right. Milk contains almost all the nutrients.These are fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins.

You may have realised already that milk is first food for the young ones of most of the animal species including man. You will surprised to know that mother’s milk, alone is able to meet the baby’s nutritive needs for the the first six months of its life. No amount of commercial milk food can replace mother’ s milk. But certain milk substitute are present. Prolactin is milk production hormone. The level of prolactin is increases at the time of pregnancy.

Milk is good for health
Milk is good for health

Milk can be obtained from different animals for our consumption, the most common ones being the cow, buffalo and goat. It is not necessary to take milk as it is. There are a number of other preparation made from milk which you must be commonly consuming such as curds, paneer, cheese and khoya, etc. Milk tea is also good for health. It is work as CNS stimulant. Excessive drink of milk tea causing acidity.

Nutritive Value of Milk :

Milk is almost a complete food as it contains most of the required nutrients. Milk contain the following nutrients;

Protein : It is an important source of good quality protein and hence an important food for infants and growing children. For vegetarians, it is the only source of animal protein. Even people who are opposed to taking food like eggs, meat, etc., do not object to milk. The reason is that through it is an animal food it is not obtained by killing the animal. Milk is used along with cereals helps in improving their protein quality, so that the protein is used better in the body.

Fat : The fat present in the milk is easily digestible as it is present in very small particles as an emulsion. This is a source of energy.

Carbohydrates : The only carbohydrates present in milk is a sugar termed as Lactose. It is easily digested by the infant.

Minerals and Vitamins : Milk is an excellent source of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which help in building strong bones and teeth. It is also a good source of vitamin A, which help in improving eye-sight and preventing blindness. It is also contains some B-complex vitamin specially riboflavin. However, milk is relatively low in vitamin C and iron.

Commonly Used Milk Products :

Milk products are used in every household in some form or the other. Given below are the methods of preparing these products and their nutritive value.

Milk product list;

  • Curds
  • Paneer and Cheese
  • Cream
  • Khoya
  • Butter and ghee

Curds :

It is a major product obtained from milk. To prepare curd you must add a little curd to warm milk and keep it to set for about five to six hours. How does the addition of a little curd changes the entire milk to curd? The curd has certain bacteria in it which changes the lactose into lactic acid, thus converting milk into curds. The lactic acid produced is responsible for firm curd and sour taste.

For making curd, we used milk which is neither too hot nor too cold. This is reason why you find it difficult to make a curd in winter. To overcome this we should keep it warm by inverting a large pan over it. There is not much difference between the nutritive value of curd and milk.

Curds are equally nutritive but more easily digestible than milk. Therefore some people who are unable to drink milk are able to tolerate it in the form of curds. Particularly in conditions such as diarrhoea and dysentery, curd is preferred to milk because it is more easily digestible.

Paneer and Cheese :

You must have noticed that if you add a little amount of lemon juice or tartar to boiling milk then the solid present in the milk separate in the form of lumps and a thin liquid separates out. This solid mass is paneer (cottage cheese) which has all the proteins, fat and vitamin A of milk. The liquid which remain after the separation of paneer is called whey.

It contains valuable minerals and vitamins such as calcium, phosphorus and B-complex vitamins. Therefore, this valuable liquid should not be thrown away. It can be easily used in making dough, or added to curries, pulses, etc. You may also give this liquid to a child in the family who may be suffering from diarrhoea.

The paneer prepared can be further ripened to form different varieties of cheese. This is done by adding different micro-organism under different condition. Cheese thus prepared has a strong flavour and is much more expensive than paneer. It is available in small cubes and tons under different brand names.

Cream :

Cream is the fat separated from boiled milk that has been allowed to stand. It may be used as such or made into butter or ghee.

Khoya :

It is the concentrated from of milk which is made by heating milk in a big open pan till a solid mass with low moisture is obtained. As the moisture in khoya is low it can be easily stored for some time. In india, surplus milk is used in the preparation of khoya. In summer when there is shortage of milk, khoya is not easily available.

Butter and Ghee :

Both these products are made from cream which is fat of milk. In the preparation of butter, the fat separates out as butter and the liquid left is known as butter milk, which has a pleasant taste and flavour.