Composition And Properties

Cow's milk consists of about 87% water and 13% total solids (Table 1). The latter are composed of solids-not-fat (SNF) and fat. Milk with higher fat content also has higher solids-not-fat content, with an increase of SNF of 0.4% for each 1% fat increase. The principal components of solids-not-fat are protein, lactose, and minerals (ash). Fat content and other constituents of milk vary with species, and, for the milk cow, vary with breed. Likewise, composition of milk may be influenced by many factors such as feed, stage of lactation, health and age of animal, and seasonal and environmental conditions. The SNF and moisture relationships are well established and can be used as a basis for detecting adulteration with water. The physical properties of milk are given in Table 2.

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