Science & Research

Product innovation: Fluid milk and dairy beverages

Research submissions

In order to keep the dairy industry strong, National Dairy Council® product research drives demand for dairy products and ingredients through the funding of pre-competitive nutrition and product research.

Learn about funding opportunities

Fluid milk product research seeks to link technical quality factors such as light oxidation and fat levels to consumer liking in an effort to identify and share best practices. We’re also working with industry to accelerate innovation of fluid milk and dairy-based beverages to help better answer consumers’ beverage needs.
Fluid milk and dairy beverages

Product research that prioritizes the consumer

Science-based information and technical insights on fluid milk and dairy beverages enable the industry to improve fluid milk quality and develop innovative products to better suit consumers’ needs.

View the most recent technical insights and research below or log in and download the complete list of research projects in this area.

Published research

Pouring a glass of milk
Natural sweeteners (e.g., sucrose, stevia, monk fruit) and fat content are top-selling points for chocolate milk
Researchers used consumer surveys to determine which factors influence parents in purchasing chocolate milk for their kids. This study shows natural sweeteners and fat content are the top criteria for buying chocolate milk, and parents felt good about their decision. This study helps dairy brands target specific characteristics that may encourage parents to purchase their flavored milk for kids.
Recommendations from a decade-long program to improve fluid milk quality
The New York state fluid milk improvement program found that challenges such as post-pasteurization contamination can be overcome, resulting in higher-quality products for consumers. This study assessed the quality of fluid milk between 2001 and 2010.
Improving shelf-life of milk: new screening tool may be useful to detect spore-formers that cause commercial fluid milk Spoilage
Paenibacillus, nonpathogenic, spore-forming bacteria found on farms and in dairy processing plants frequently limit the shelf life of fluid milk. A recent study found Paenibacillus typically are ß-galactosidase (lactase) positive, which will help facilitate laboratory detection.
Microbiological tests done on milk before pasteurization will not predict product shelf life
Current microbiological tests of milk before pasteurization do not predict shelf-life performance of commercially pasteurized fluid milk.
Quick method developed for measuring lactose in milk
A novel and rapid method for the routine measurement of lactose in dairy products will enable dairies to monitor the amount of lactose in filtered milks destined for cheese making, in lactose-free fluid products and in media for fermentations.
Factors that increase coliform count in bulk milk identified
Coliform bacteria are widely distributed in the environment and can cause safety and spoilage issues in bulk milk.