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Milk is one food for which there seems to be no adequate substitute. The milk products include curd, butter, skimmed milk, condensed milk, khoa, paneer and cheese.
Milk is a complex mixture of lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and many other organic compounds and inorganic salts dissolved or dispersed in water. The chief carbohydrate present in milk is lactose, a disaccharide although trace amounts of glucose, galactose and other sugars are also present. The protein present in milk is caesin.
Milk provides 67 calories and 3.2 grams of protein per 100ml. Milk has good quality protein. Dairy foods are a major source of calcium and riboflavin.
The ratio of calcium : phosphorus in milk is regarded as most favourable for bone development. In addition, dairy products contain other nutrients such as vitamin D and lactose which favour calcium absorption.
Milk is not a good source of niacin, but it is an excellent source of tryptophan. Milk is a very poor source of vitamin C and iron.
Prevention of scorching or burning - Too thin vessels and too high a temperature can scorch the milk at the bottom of the vessel. Use double boilers or stir constantly.
Prevention of scum formation - This can be achieved by covering the pan, stirring or using milk cooker.
Pasteurization: The microorganisms present in milk are killed using a method called pasteurization, where milk is heated to 65 o C for 30 minutes or 72 o C for 15 seconds and cooled rapidly.
Milk contributes to the nutritive value of the diet.
It adds taste and flavour to the product.
Milk is used in dessert.
Curd or buttermilk is used as leavening agent and to improve the texture.
Curd or buttermilk is given to patients with diarrhoea.
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