What’s the difference? – Types of fresh milk and why they benefit

Milk has long been touted as the go-to, natural source for essential nutrients. They come in many varieties, from fresh milk, pasteurised milk, cultured milk, low fat milk, to lactose-free milk– but what’s the difference? And how can users decide which milk is better for individual consumption? 

Whether you’re a milk fan or simply curious about the differences, CP-Meiji Singapore is here to share the range of milk options we see on supermarket shelves and how each product brings different benefits to different users.

Filling up on fresh milk

Fresh milk is what most people regularly consume on a daily basis. Contrary to popular belief, fresh milk does not refer to a single type of milk, but to a variety of milk including:

  • Regular, or full-fat pasteurised and homogenised milk
  • Low-fat milk
  • Flavoured milk
  • Lactose-free milk

While the difference in nutritional profiles may vary depending on the type of milk, all fresh milk contains essential nutrients such as calcium and protein that is good for bone growth and muscle health. The need for cool storage conditions is key to preserving its freshness – even after it has gone through the pasteurisation and homogenisation process – so that users can continue benefiting from its nutritional value.

Understanding the pasteurisation and homogenisation process

Generally, most fresh milk in Singapore, including our Meiji Fresh Milk undergo mandatory pasteurisation and homogenisation that comply with local regulations to ensure safe human consumption of dairy products.

The pasteurisation process in Singapore requires raw milk to be heated to high temperatures for a set amount of time, to ensure any disease-causing bacteria residing in raw milk are destroyed, while homogenisation involves the breaking up of globules of fat contained within the milk, before they are uniformly distributed for smoothness and consistency.

Without the need for additives or chemical treatments, what results is a milk product with an extended shelf life that is also legally and nutritionally safe for consumption, particularly if you are pregnant. That is why our Meiji Fresh Milk is safe for pregnant users, as well as children, to consume straight out of the carton, at the same time ensuring they receive the natural nutritional benefits derived from the milk without the worry of any risks associated with unprocessed milk.

Keeping it low with low-fat milk

With less than 1.5% fat content, low-fat milk, also known as reduced fat milk, a significant proportion of the milk’s ingredient components are assigned to other non-fat components. It is particularly because of this reason that low-fat milk such as our Meiji Low Fat Fresh Milk contains a higher proportion of calcium compared to normal milk, without compromising on other essential nutrients. 

With this in regard, many may question if low-fat milk is a healthier alternative to full fat milk. While experts say that the type of fat contained in such milk matters, generally, low-fat options would be a better option for consumers who require higher protein and calcium in their diet.

The milk that is full of flavours

It is without saying that flavoured milk is the popular choice milk for younger milk drinkers, particularly young children and young adults who have a penchant for delicious-tasting beverages. 

With the same beneficial nutrients as regular, fresh, full-fat milk, many may think that the added flavours can contribute to unwanted weight gain or tooth decay, but research shows otherwise. In fact, it’s the perfect way to get young children to drink healthy and get calcium and protein in their diet. That’s why our Meiji Flavoured Milk comes in a variety of flavours, including chocolate, strawberry, coffee, banana and melon to cater to different taste buds.

Lactose-free options for the lactose intolerant 

Lactose-free milk options such as our Meiji Lactose Free Milk is gaining widespread popularity, especially amongst lactose intolerance drinkers. How it is essentially different is that an enzyme called lactase is introduced to the milk to help break down lactose contained within the milk. By doing so, it helps ease digestion and eliminate discomfort caused from digestive distress. 

The lactose-free formula is what makes lactose-free milk a digestion-friendly option for lactose intolerant users who want all the essential nutrients contained in milk, or regular milk drinkers who are looking for a milk alternative that is easier on the stomach and eases digestive discomfort.

Drinking cultured milk for digestive balance

Cultured milk like our Meiji Paigen Cultured Milk refers milk that has been cultured with live probiotics, a form of good bacteria that helps balance the gut and intestinal tracts for an overall healthier digestive system. 

Whereas pasteurised milk destroys bad bacteria, cultured milk adds these nutritional, good bacteria – such as live lactobacillus – and other nutrients that bring beneficial outcomes. Meiji Paigen for instance contains additional nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, and E to add more nutritional value to the cultured milk product. In addition, with 0% trans-fat content and a Healthier Choice option with lower sugar, it is a delectable drink for users who seek more nutritional value in their milk