The choice of milk seems endless. But what's the difference?
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  • Updated:28 May 2007

03.Jargon buster

Use this quick reference to decipher words you might see on milk container labels.

  • ‘Milk drink’, ‘milk beverage’ Only specified vitamins and minerals can be added to milk under the Food Standards Code, and for some of these there’s a maximum permitted quantity. Milks with more than this, or with other additional vitamins and minerals, are labelled ‘milk drink’ or ‘milk beverage’ in order to comply with the code. Examples include ANLENE, PURA Boost and BROWNES Heart Plus.
  • Homogenised Practically all drinking milk in Australia has undergone homogenisation, a process where the milk fat globules are physically reduced in size, so they remain suspended throughout the milk for long periods of time. The process prevents the cream from separating out and gives the milk a more uniform colour. Unhomogenised milk will have a creamy layer on top where the fat globules have come together.
  • Pasteurised milk has been heat-treated to kill bugs and prevent spoilage. Its particularly important that milk produced on an industrial scale is pasteurised. Collecting and pooling milk from many different farms increases the risk that a given batch will be contaminated, and the plumbing and machinery needed for the various stages of processing also increase opportunities for contamination.
  • Long-life milk has been pasteurised using the ultra-high temperature (UHT) method. If packaged under strictly sterile conditions, it can be stored for months without refrigeration.
  • Organic milk comes from organically farmed animals fed a variety of foods natural to their diet, and allowed free movement and natural light and ventilation while inside.
  • Biodynamic You’ll see this on the label of milks sourced from farms that use the biodynamic farming method. Biodynamic farming shares principles with organic farming (such as not using chemical fertilisers) but has additional requirements for enhancing the soil’s structure and nutrient cycles.


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