Advanced Dairy Chemistry

pp 691-758


Physico-chemical Properties of Milk

  • O. J. McCarthyAffiliated withInstitute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University
  • , H. SinghAffiliated withRiddet Institute, Massey University

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Milk is a complex colloidal dispersion containing fat globules, casein micelles and whey proteins in an aqueous solution of lactose, minerals and a few other minor compounds. Its physical and chemical properties depend on intrinsic compositional and structural factors, extrinsic factors such as temperature and post-milking treatments. An understanding of these properties is important in the technological and engineering design and operation of milk processes and processing equipment, the design of modern methods of milk analysis, the determination of milk microstructures and the elucidation of complex chemical reactions that occur in milk. Measurement of some of the physico-chemical properties is used to assess milk quality. Various physical and chemical properties of milk have been reviewed previously (Jenness and Patton, 1959; Jenness et al., 1974; Walstra and Jenness, 1984; Lewis, 1987; Sherbon, 1988; Singh et al., 1997).