Milk Processing

Milk fresh from the cow is virtually a sterile product. All post-milking handling must maintain the milk’s nutritional value and prevent deterioration caused by numerous physical and biological factors. In addition, equipment on the farm must be maintained to government and industry standards. Most cows are milked twice a day, although some farms milk three or four times per day. The milk is immediately cooled from body temperature to below 40°F (5°C), then stored at the farm under refrigeration until picked up by insulated tanker trucks at least every other day.

The milk tanker driver records the amount of milk and notes the temperature and the presence of any off-odors. If the milk is too warm or has an off-odor, it will not be picked up, and the farmer will have to feed it to his animals or dump it. When the milk is pumped into the tanker, a sample is collected for later lab analysis.

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