Cow's milk: all about the composition of the product


Currently, cow's milk is one of the main foods in our country. Such popular dairy products as kefir, ryazhenka, cottage cheese, hard cheese and others are made from it. In many ways, their production is affected by such factors as milk fat in cows. Let's talk about its chemical composition and properties in more detail.

We analyze the chemical composition

Milk, as you know, is a very complex multicomponent structure, which includes finely divided substances. This allows the product to be in liquid form. The composition of this unique bovine product includes more than 160 components, of which macro- and microelements, vitamins, fatty acids, sugars, various enzymes and even citric acid. However, the chemical composition of milk is unequal and depends both on the breed of the cow and on its feeding, care, state of health and conditions of detention.


According to the latest data of scientists, about 50 elements are part of the usual product. These are micro and macronutrients.

  • Calcium. One of the most famous chemical constituents. Remember the expression "Children drink milk, you will be healthy!". This is precisely in many ways related to this substance. In a cow's product, it is in easily digestible form and is very well balanced with phosphorus. For example, on average, its content ranges from 100 to 140 mg (in 100 ml of milk). It is important to remember that the calcium content is different in summer and winter (above), and also depends on the period of lactation of the animal.
  • Phosphorus. This substance in the product studied by us contains from 74 to 130 mg (100 ml). During the year, this figure varies little and depends more on the breed of the cow and the diet.
  • Magnesium. This element is an important component of a living organism, which is involved in the formation of immunity and improves growth and development. It is also important for the normal functioning of the microflora of the stomach. It is contained in 100 ml of the product from 12 to 14 mg.

  • Potassium and sodium. These two substances are inseparable and regulate each other, therefore, are indicated in a single coupling. In 100 ml of sodium milk is about 30-70 mg, and potassium - from 135 to 170 mg. This number varies throughout the year, for example, at the end of lactation, the level of potassium decreases, but the amount of sodium increases.
  • Chlorides. It is also a necessary element of milk, but its increased concentration may indicate mastitis. Normally, it contains from 90 to 120 mg per 100 ml.
  • Trace elements These are mineral substances that are contained in very small quantities, but also are important chemical elements of the product. These include: copper, zinc, iodine, fluorine, selenium, manganese, iron and others. They are closely related to fat globules, caprein and protein compounds. Trace elements regulate the activity of hormones, vitamins and enzymes.

Important! It should be noted that many trace elements in addition to natural dairy can be brought from the sphere. For example, from tare, water, equipment. On this basis, there may be an additional flavor.


Vitamins are an integral part of the composition of milk. They are here in special compounds and in pure form. For example, the usual product that a home cow gives in the summer contains vitamin D, groups B (B2, B6, B7, B9), C. Read about other components of this useful product below.

What is the percentage of fat?

Many people buy milk at the store and look at the percentage of fat content indicated on the package. Some people choose fatter, others, on the contrary - lean. Of course, all this is possible thanks to modern technologies for the production of dairy products. Special equipment allows you to separate the necessary proportion of fat from the original composition, leaving the number specified by the program. To choose a fatty product or fat free is already a personal matter for everyone, but we will consider the basic information on this indicator.

Fatness, above all, determines the nutritional value of cow's milk, as well as some of its other technological properties. Today, most breeds of cows are distinguished by high fat levels, which, of course, speaks of the great advantage of modern breeding. This is a very important criterion in milk production.

So, on average, its rate ranges from 3.1 to 4.23%. The highest percentage of fat content is observed in the milk of cows of the Caucasian White-headed breed, Jersey, Kyrgyz and Kurgvinskaya. The lowest index is in Sychevsk, Ostfriz and Istoben breed. That is why they today are practically not used in dairy farming.

The quality of such derived products as sour cream, cream, butter, cottage cheese depends on the milk fat content. The oil received from the product of Krasnogorbatov and Kostroma cows received the highest rating. The most delicious cheese is obtained by the Schwyz, Yaroslavl, Kholmogorsk and Simmental breed.

Milk fat

Previously, this component of the milk was considered as the most valuable. The quality of the product was evaluated by the level of fat content, because the content of this component is closely related to the amount of protein. The highest indicators of milk fat reach a cow by six years of life, after which their component gradually decreases. The energy value of this component is 9 kcal per gram.

It is important to know! The main components of milk are fat, casein, lactose, lactoglobulin and lactalbumin.

Milk protein

Today it is the most important component that regulates its quality and value. It is important to note that milk protein is a high-molecular compound, which includes amino acids. They are divided into two groups: whey and caseins.


It is in its composition a very complex protein, which is represented in the product in the form of granules. The size of casein granules depends on the calcium content. When interacting with acids, this substance coagulates and gives a precipitate. Such a reaction is necessary when creating fermented milk products.

Whey proteins

After the breakdown of casein, whey proteins remain in the fermented milk product. These include albumin and globulin, which are similar in structure to blood plasma. Albumin precipitates when heated to 70 degrees. Globulin is a simple protein that is quickly absorbed and is a carrier of immune bodies. That is why fermented milk products are useful for adults.

Lactose or milk sugar

This is a very important component and is the only carbohydrate that newborn babies get. This is the main source of energy. Lactose is broken down by lactase, which is present in the human stomach all his life, if he regularly consumes milk. Due to this component, the product has a pleasant sweetish taste.

Today, many modern doctors believe milk is not a very useful product for an adult. They have a lot of evidence in this regard, which to a greater extent boils down to the harmfulness of milk fat. However, we, in turn, note that lactose, getting into the intestinal wall, produces acid, which suppresses the development of putrefactive microflora.

The absorption of milk sugar is 99%. So drinking or not drinking milk is up to you. But still this unique product is of great importance in our lives.




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