What Is Homogenized Milk And What Does It Mean?

  • Article
  • 1 min read December 2, 2014

With so many options in your dairy case, odds are you may recognize a number of terms on the packaging. Two that you may see are “Pasteurized” and “Homogenized” – but what is homogenized milk?

Why Is Milk Homogenized?

Homogenization is a process that gives milk its rich, white color and smooth texture. Milk that has not been homogenized contains a layer of cream that rises to the top of a glass; so the process also saves consumers the step of mixing cream back into the milk before drinking it. The entire process doesn't impact what's actually in milk or its flavor.

Before the homogenization process was used, milk was shaken or mixed to achieve consistency in its look and taste. Then, in the late 19th century, commercial homogenization began. The homogenization process involves reducing the size of the fat globules (the cream that rises to the top of the glass or bottle) into minuscule portions that are dispersed evenly throughout the milk. Homogenization usually is achieved by pumping milk through small openings under very high pressure. As a result, milk looks and tastes creamier.

Homogenization is one of many steps folks throughout the dairy industry take to keep your milk and other dairy foods safe, delicious and nutritious. 

Learn more about homogenization and what it means for your milk.