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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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September 21, 2010

Milk Buying Tip ~ How to Avoid Buying Oxidized Milk

Before I met Dominic, eight years ago, I had no idea how the lighting in food displays and retail stores can REALLY affect the milk you buy.  Light oxidizes the milk in plastic gallon containers that are exposed to direct lighting.  This light exposure not only affects the taste of said milk, it also can affect the nutrient content of it.

My buying tip: if you purchase milk at a grocery store like the one in the photo, always dig to the very back, darkest shelf area of the milk display to pick out your milk for purchase.

I have been asked by a store employee, one time, why I was digging to the back for my milk and of course I told him the reason why; that I didn't want to buy oxidized milk.  It's amazing the difference in taste, my kids will even notice the taste of even the slightest oxidation, it's very apparent.  Now, if you buy milk in cartons, it will be safe from light oxidation and if you happen to buy milk at Costco, where it's sold in plastic containers but boxed in cardboard, it's also safe from oxidation. 

A study conducted by Milk Quality Improvement Program (MQIP) scientists at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. measured the amount of time it took to get noticeable flavor changes. Here's what they found: 

'Reduced fat (2%) milk in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers were exposed to lighting similar to the retail dairy case (2000 lux), where the average light exposure is 8 hours. The study was conducted from 1999 to 2001. The conclusions? Half of the teen and adult consumers could detect an off-flavor with less than 2 hours of light exposure. Also, the teens were asked how much they liked the milk'. They thought that the light-oxidized milk was objectionable. The longer the milk was exposed to light, the less they liked the milk.'

Happy Tuesday!
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Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I didn't know this- thanks for the info!

An Authentic Life said...

OK, I am going to be a digger from now on, all thanks to you Nancy!!

Anonymous said...

First of all after this post I find one thing that Brazil is better than US. All milk sells over there is packed in "Tetrapack" (cartoon).

After that, I have to apologise for my poor English. When I was 19 years (old long time ago...- like in the music American Pie from Don Mclin was in California and specific place called Pennegrove, two (I can`t say three because the Third was so young)cousins tought me English, althoug the student (me) was very good I can`t say the same from my teachers (they are Gloria & Nancy).

Thus,after that great joke, I should say it was fantastic to find again My Tio Antonio and his family because they are the sentimental more close than my dear father.


The Dairy Mom said...

You do such a nice job with your blog. I always enjoy reading your posts. I learned about light oxidation in dairy as a California Milk Advisory Board intern. It does impact the flavor of milk. Some processors package their milk in colored containers instead of clear packaging to avoid the change in flavor.

Pam T said...

Thank you so very much! I was not aware of this. Really enjoy your Blog!