According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American drinks roughly 18 gallons of milk per year. Milk consumption has been high, which is part of the reason why homogenization was invented. The homogenization of milk consists of breaking down the fat molecules, so they are less likely to separate. This process used by thousands of dairy manufacturers helps preserve the shelf life of milk and keep people safe. But, like many other food and beverage processes, the homogenization of milk hasn’t been immune to misconceptions. When some people see a milk homogenizer, they wonder if the process is still necessary. Over the years, there have been several common myths surrounding the value of homogenization. In this article, we’ll bust four common myths about the homogenization of milk. It’s our hope that this information can help your business educate your customers about a process that’s key to a major component of the American diet.
There’s a common belief that the homogenization of milk kills healthy nutrients. This myth is one of the embers that sparked the homogenized vs. non-homogenized milk debate. But the truth is, milk homogenization does not destroy any healthy nutrients. The myth stems from a misunderstanding of what homogenization is. Milk homogenizers use mechanical force and high pressure. Those factors don’t destroy nutrients, but exposure to heat does. Since many forms of pasteurization use heat, many people assume that homogenization is the same. Unless you’re part of the industry, it’s easy to get milk pasteurization and homogenization confused. But you can tell your customers with confidence that homogenization keeps all the nutrients in milk intact.
Myth 2: Drinking Homogenized Milk Causes Serious Health Problems
There’s a myth out there that says the homogenization of milk causes a long list of health issues. From cancer to heart disease and digestive problems, homogenized milk has gotten a bad reputation. But the truth is, there has been no research indicating that this myth is true. In fact, the homogenization process is used in the pharmaceutical industry. According to the FDA, raw milk doesn’t contain any components that make it “safer” than its homogenized counterpart.
Myth 3: Homogenized Milk is Harder to Digest
One of the biggest points in the homogenized vs non-homogenized milk debate is that homogenized milk is harder to digest. The homogenization of milk prevents the cream from rising to the top. In essence, it’s saving you the extra step of having to mix your milk before drinking it. A milk homogenizer also mixes the milk fat and breaks it down to smaller pieces. Breaking down the fat causes the milk to be smoother and more uniform. So, what does that mean? Well, by breaking up the fat, homogenized milk tends to be easier for many people to digest as opposed to raw milk. It’s also important to note that homogenization also doesn’t involve any chemicals or additives. The homogenized vs. non-homogenized milk debate comes down to a taste preference and nothing more.
Myth 4: Homogenization Makes it Harder for Your Body to Absorb Vitamin D
This myth stems from part of the homogenization process we mentioned above. The idea is that as the fat is broken down into smaller pieces, it binds to the vitamin D in the milk. The vitamin D is harder for your body to absorb once it’s connected to the fat molecules. This myth is untrue. There is no scientific evidence that vitamin D is harder to absorb after being passed through a milk homogenizer. In fact, there is no visible proof that fat molecules even bind to the vitamin D in the first place. Milk isn’t the only good source of vitamin D, but it can have a positive impact on your diet.
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