Ag Experience Insider: Milk Processing Explained

Farm Life Creamery is constantly busy with producing fresh milk and batches of cheese and ice cream. They are especially proud of their milk and the process they use for their milk to reach your table. Continue reading to learn more about the process they use. 

Minimally processed, safe, fresh milk

When we started the process of building our creamery, we didn’t realize that we’d be the only small, on-farm, Grade A licensed bottling plant in the state of South Dakota! One may say if we knew what the process would be, why would we want to? But, overall we’ve worked through all of the requirements and gotten it done! So here’s a little info about bottled milk, processes, and how we do it at Farm Life Creamery.

Our Grade A milk from our own herd of Holstein cows is collected and bottled fresh. We pasteurize low and slow, but nothing else, leaving our milk as close to its natural state as possible. Because our milk is non-homogenized, the cream rises to the top. So, just SHAKE IT UP and enjoy. Our milk is the most natural form of cow’s milk that can be purchased on a store shelf.

Pasteurized Low and Slow

Bottling our own milk within hours of milking the cows provides unparalleled freshness. Bottling on-farm and processing in small batches allows us the time to utilize the slower, “old-fashioned” vat pasteurizing method (145 degrees for 30 minutes) which takes longer, but maintains many of the enzymes and flavors that tend to be cooked out of other milk brands who utilize high heat processing (from 161 to 280 degrees, for only seconds) to extend shelf life. Small batch processing also ensures exemplary quality control. The natural, wholesome qualities of farm-fresh milk are retained.

Nonhomogenized = Cream Rises

Farm Life Creamery bottled milk is “cream-line” milk. Cream- line milk is one of the most natural forms of milk. It is pasteurized, to remove anything potentially harmful, but not homogenized.

Homogenization is high pressure used to break down the fat molecules in milk into very small particles that dissolve into the rest of the milk, so the cream no longer rises. Some believe that many of the health benefits of milk are lost during this process because it changes the natural form of the milk, purely for aesthetics. Instead of milk fats being digested slowly as they move through your digestive system, the fat is absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the stomach. It can simply shock the system and your body may not like it, causing you to think you’re intolerant to milk. There have been other studies that show that healthful enzymes that surround milk fats may be destroyed when milk is homogenized. Most importantly, many believe that milk loses its flavor when it’s homogenized. Because we don’t homogenize, the cream rises to the top!

Many of our customers tell us that Farm Life Creamery milk is the only milk they can drink without suffering from digestion problems.