Dairy Products – What Makes them so Valuable?


There are countless dairy products on the refrigerated shelves of supermarkets. When it comes to cheese, yogurt, cream, and the like, we also come across terms such as left-handed or right-handed lactic acids and fat i. Tr.

In our article, we give you an overview of the variety of dairy products and explain what makes them so healthy and valuable for the human organism.


When milk is processed, the skimmed milk is separated from the milk fat (cream). This milk fat is the milk component that we can buy in the supermarket as cream. The cream contains a lot of fat, but also milk protein and fat-soluble vitamins, and by mixing it with skimmed milk it is available in different fat content levels as cream, whipped cream, or coffee cream.

Sour Milk Products

If milk is left untreated, the lactic acid bacteria contained in the milk convert the lactose into lactic acid, the milk becomes sour and the protein coagulates. When the milk is processed, lactic acid bacteria are specifically added to it and it is curdled at a certain temperature. Various sour milk products are created through different further processing and the use of different bacterial strains.

Drinking sour milk is liquid stirred sour milk, sour milk is firm, buttermilk is milk liquid without cream, drinking whey consists of the water-soluble components of milk and whey protein. Sour cream or sour cream is cream mixed with lactic acid bacteria, Schmand is spoonable sour cream with at least 20% fat, crème fraîche is sour cream with a fat content of at least 30%, and double cream with at least 40%.

Yogurt is a sour milk product to which special lactic acid bacteria are added that only allow part of the milk protein to coagulate. Depending on the bacterial strain, yogurt is produced from sour to mild or those that are said to have a positive influence on intestinal flora. In addition to sour milk bacteria, rennet enzymes are also used to coagulate quark. With kefir, additional special kefir fungi ensure a carbonic and slightly alcoholic fermentation.


Butter is a spreadable fat made primarily from cow’s milk. The raw material for making butter is cream.


Cheese is a very versatile dairy product. It can be made from different types of milk, whether cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk or buffalo milk. The fat content is adjusted by mixing it with skimmed milk or cream. Lactic acid bacteria for sour milk cheese or rennet enzymes for sweet milk cheese or a mixture of both are used for coagulation.

After curdling, the whey is separated. The cheese mass is formed from the remaining curd. Cheese is available from soft to semi-hard to hard. It can be mixed with different mold cultures (white, red or blue mold). Once the cheese has formed, it – with the exception of the cream cheese – is placed in a salt bath. This strengthens the loaves and promotes shelf life. Some varieties are dipped in paraffin to protect them.

Left- or right-handed lactic acid

Which lactic acid a food contains depends on the bacterial culture used to coagulate the milk. The left-handed lactic acids are also referred to as D(−)-lactic acid, the right-handed ones as L(+)-lactic acid. Yogurts usually contain both types.

Read Also: 10 Nutritional Myths in Check

Products with L(+)-lactic acid are easier to digest because our organism also produces dextrorotatory lactic acid itself and we, therefore, have an enzyme that our body can use to break down this lactic acid. If a product is labeled with L(+)-lactic acid, it may still contain left-handed lactic acid.

Fat in the dry matter

The abbreviation Fett i is usually found on the packaging of cheese. Tr. It stands for “fat on the dry matter” — but what exactly does that mean?

Cheese consists of the so-called dry matter (fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins) and water content. The harder and more mature a cheese, the drier it is, i.e. the more dry matter it contains. In contrast, soft and fresh cheese, which has significantly higher water content, is, therefore, moister and contains less dry matter.

Fat in the dry matter (fat in dry matter) does not mean how much fat is in the whole cheese, but how high the fat content is after the water has been removed. The higher the water content in the cheese, the lower the dry matter and the less fat it contains. Cheese with a high dry matter content and a low water content contains a particularly large amount of fat.

However, the packaging does not state how much dry matter or water content the cheese consists of. The actual fat content can therefore not be read on the cheese packaging. However, one can roughly orientate oneself to the following.

The actual fat content of cream cheese is about a quarter of the stated value, about half of that for soft and semi-hard cheese and about two-thirds for hard cheese. If it stated on the packaging that it is 60% fat i. tr. then that means about 15g of fat per 100g of cheese for cream cheese, which has a high proportion of water and little dry matter, about 30g for soft cheese, and about 40g of fat per 100g for hard cheese, which has a high proportion of dry matter. It is only sometimes that “absolute fat” is stated on the packaging. This is the actual fat content and not the fat content in dry matter.


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