Lactose: the natural milk sugar
Lactose is naturally present in milk and the amount of lactose varies between dairy products. For example, yoghurt and buttermilk contain less lactose than milk and hard cheeses contain hardly any lactose. Lactose can also be present in small amounts in products in which milk, milk powder or certain components of milk have been processed, such as chocolate products, coffee creamers and cake.
What is the difference between full-fat and skimmed dairy?
The main difference between full-fat milk and skimmed milk is the fat content and therefore the calorie content. The level of nutrients in milk is independent of the fat content, and equal in full and skimmed milk.
Nutrients in yoghurt
Yoghurt is made from milk and therefore largely contains the same nutrients as milk. Both yoghurt and milk are a natural source of protein and also have a similar mineral content. An important difference between yoghurt and milk is the amount of lactose and B-vitamins.
How is yoghurt made?
Various dairy products can be made from milk, such as yoghurt and cheese. Yoghurt is made by adding a mixture of lactic acid bacteria to the milk.
Nutrients in cheese
Milk naturally contains essential nutrients, such as protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B12. Typical Dutch-type cheese is made from milk and therefore contain many of the nutrients from milk.
How is cheese made?
Various dairy products can be made from milk, such as yoghurt and cheese. For many centuries, the traditional cheese-making process has been passed on from generation to generation. Dutch-type cheese is made from pasteurised fresh milk.
Minerals in dairy
Milk and milk products can be a source of a variety of minerals. Most notably present are potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Dairy can therefore help to meet our body’s mineral requirements.
Nutrients naturally found in milk
Milk is nutritious by nature. It is much more than calcium alone. Fresh milk delivers a set of essential nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals and therefore it has a significant contribution to a healthy diet. Here you can find some information on the most important nutrients in milk.
Fat content and fat composition of dairy products
Many health authorities recommend dairy to be part of a healthy and balanced diet due to its nutrient density. Each milk product has its own unique fat content. As milk is processed in a myriad of ways, the fat content of dairy products can range from virtually 0% to around 80%. Milk fat is composed of a broad range of fatty acids, which makes it one of nature’s most complex fatty acid fractions.
Amino acids and protein quality of milk
Proteins are bio-molecules that are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids in total, nine of which are essential. Milk has a high protein quality, as it contains all nine essential amino acids in relatively high quantities.