Milk is a white liquid produced by mammals, for example cows, dogs, and humans. It is made in the mammary glands (breasts, udders, or teats) of female mammals. Because newborn babies have no teeth, they must be fed milk before they can eat solid food. Milk contains many nutrients to help babies grow and be healthy.
Nutrients that milk contains.
Milk contains a lot of calcium, which is one of many minerals needed for strong bones and healthy nerves. Milk is very high in Calcium, but relatively low in Magnesium (about 10% of Calcium content). Magnesium is required in higher amounts for proper absorption. Milk also contains fat, protein, and sugar which animals can digest to gain energy.
The amounts of things contained in milk is different in different animals. Human milk is thin and has a lot of lactose. Cow milk has less sugar and more fat and protein than human milk. Cow milk has about 3.5% milkfat, 8.5% milk solids and 88% water. The milk of some mammals is collected for humans to drink. It usually comes from cows, but also sometimes goats, yaks and sheep.
Some people like to add other flavors to milk before they drink it. Flavored milk is popular with children. Chocolate flavor and sugar is added to milk to make "chocolate milk". Chocolate milk is different from milk chocolate -- a type of candy chocolate that contains some milk.
Not everyone agrees that milk is healthy for humans to drink. Some research shows that the proteins in milk stop this calcium being useful in adults. One of the largest ever studies, funded by the dairy industry followed the diet of thousands of nurses over 10 years. Those with the highest milk consumption had the highest rates of hip fracture. Cow's milk makes the blood more acidic and therefore the body pulls calcium from the bones to neutralize the acidity in a process called Homeostasis. Some people think milk is good for children. It has been proven in the courts in the US that Cow's milk contains BGH (Bovine Growth Hormones) which are detrimental to human health. In some countries, some people are worried that milk contains chemicals which are fed to cows. These chemicals may be harmful to people.
Storing milk.
If milk is not kept cool in a refrigerator, it will spoil and become sour after some time. The warmer the milk becomes, the faster it becomes sour. Fermentation makes this happen. Lactic acid bacteria changes the milk sugar into lactic acid. Fermentation is used when making dairy products.
Milk is often pasteurised before humans drink it, or is made into dairy products like cream, butter, yoghurt, ice cream, gelato, or cheese. Pasteurised cows' milk will turn sour if it is not kept in a refrigerator. Milk should be stored between 1° and 4° Celsius. If milk is treated with ultra-high temperatures (UHT), it will last longer before spoiling. This means it does not have to be put in the refrigerator until it is opened.
Milk contains a chemical called lactose. Babies make an enzyme called lactase inside their bodies. Adults make less lactase. If they do not have enough, they may not be able to digest lactose anymore. This problem is called lactose intolerance and it affects many adults. There are many medicines that help adults digest lactose. Many lactose-intolerant people drink soy milk instead of animal milk, because it does not contain lactose. Soy milk is similar to animal milk, but it is made from soybeans.
Coconut milk.
Coconut milk looks similar to real milk, but it does not have as many nutrients. It is made by removing the white "meat" from a coconut, pressing or squeezing the "meat", then adding water. It is sometimes used in cooking, for example, in Thai curry.
Coconut cream is a thicker version of coconut milk which contains added sugar.

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