3

votes

Is homogenised dairy healthy?

Answered on August 27, 2014
Created April 20, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Related to this question I was wondering what the downsides of homogenised dairy were, if any. I've also just accidentally come into possession of a large pot of "extra thick" (homogenised) double cream, so was wondering.

The homogenisation process doesn't sound too disastrous (forcing milk through holes at high pressure, rather than heating), but it's suggested that this does various dubious sounding things to the casein and fat. There have also been explicit claims of health risks and homogenised dairy having health risks, specifically for arterosclerosis although apparantly the theory is not much respected (not that that's a good indicator in the field of nutrition, as we know).

One other observation is that the homogenised cream (along with ultra-homogenised milk) tastes quite a bit worse, despite it supposedly being less prone to rancidification.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 26, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Good information. I've always wondered what the big deal was about homogenization as it has always seemed to be a physical process and not a chemical process from the descriptions I've read.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 24, 2010
at 01:31 PM

Great answer Matthew, I'll eat my awful-tasting homogenised double cream with glee!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on April 21, 2010
at 05:11 PM

Wow, I love me some yellow milk! Especially when used to make yogurt.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 20, 2010
at 09:06 PM

Increases stability (longer shelf life without separating). Smoother, more uniform texture (more bland?). Creamier texture, particularly in reduced fat milk. Also makes milk whiter. These are the things many people today seem to value...

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on April 20, 2010
at 08:56 PM

I have heard something along the lines of the homogenization process oxidizes the cholesterol in the milk....

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4 Answers

8
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 23, 2010
at 10:55 PM

I had a read through the paper in Trends in Food Science & Technology that you posted the link too. It seems a good thorough look at all the evidence on the subject.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence of great effect on human health resulting from homogenization.

"Homogenization seems to improve milk digestibility for subjects suffering intestinal disease, however, infants digest better native human milk fat globules than homogenized droplets from infant formula."

"Presently, there seems to be no strong evidence that dairy products, including homogenized milk, increase the risk of coronary heart disease in healthy men of all ages or middleaged healthy women."

"Studies found to date do not show any impact of homogenization on milk allergy or intolerance in humans, except for a few percent of children allergic to milk who would tolerate less homogenized milk."

Regarding the oxidized cholesterol this study looked at oxidation in milk products in depth.

http://www.db-alp.admin.ch/de/publikationen/docs/pub_SieberR_2005_15663.pdf?PHPSESSID=4c1c17d2966624c1f23b5d1505c818e0

They didn't really find any oxidized cholesterol in raw, pasteurized or UHT milk. Even cooking milk at 85 degrees Celsius for 12 hours did not oxidize any.

I don't see much evidence that homogenization causes much change in fresh milk products as far as health is concerned over non-homogenized milk. It's more a matter of what you prefer taste wise. Enjoy your cream.

Interestingly ghee and heated butter contained oxidized cholesterol. If you wanted to totally avoid all oxidized cholesterol you should avoid ghee and not cook with butter.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 24, 2010
at 01:31 PM

Great answer Matthew, I'll eat my awful-tasting homogenised double cream with glee!

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 26, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Good information. I've always wondered what the big deal was about homogenization as it has always seemed to be a physical process and not a chemical process from the descriptions I've read.

2cbd904ebf34e1df5ccd2ded41ce7c16

(102)

on August 27, 2014
at 03:05 AM

Very interesting! Thank you for this information.

1
9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on April 24, 2010
at 12:39 AM

I rarely buy milk these days, but if I need some for a special recipe, I buy nonhomogenized. Open it up and spoon out the lovely cream that sits on top. The milk itself is more flavorful than conventional milk. Apart from the healthfulness factor, the taste alone makes it worth seeking if you're a milk drinker.

There is a wonderful organic, grass-fed dairy here in the Indianapolis area that sells its wares through many local grocery stores (online too).

I hear raw milk it worth finding as well, but I think you need a cow-share arrangement to bypass pasturization regulations.

0
B4aa2df25a6bf17d22556667ff896170

(851)

on April 20, 2010
at 08:34 PM

why is milk homogenized anyways? is it just for appearance purposes? or is there any other reason that milk and dairy products are homogenized?

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on April 21, 2010
at 05:11 PM

Wow, I love me some yellow milk! Especially when used to make yogurt.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 20, 2010
at 09:06 PM

Increases stability (longer shelf life without separating). Smoother, more uniform texture (more bland?). Creamier texture, particularly in reduced fat milk. Also makes milk whiter. These are the things many people today seem to value...

-2
Dd066cac29d65969014027e1616fb90b

on August 26, 2014
at 04:57 PM

reasoms for homogenization of milk

1 longer product shelf life,30 days vs 7 days for raw milk before it starts to sour.

2 reduced concern about cleanliness (hygiene) of product.

example: lets mix milk from 1000 cows, some cows are sick because they are feed crap and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, no worries about cleaning my hands or the milking equipment, it will all be boiled (homogenized) later anway.

homogenization is about big milke producers forcing small dairys out of bussiness.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 26, 2014
at 06:11 PM

Homogenization is not pasturization. 

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