Wiki: Milk Standardization

This Wiki Article is about standardization of milks and creams used in making cheese. It is divided into the following sections:


Milk’s properties vary depending on many variables such as:

  1. Breed (i.e. for cows, Holstein-Friesian, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, & Jersey).
  2. The animals feed.
  3. Time of lactation cycle.
  4. Time since milking.

As cheese is a function of the milk’s characteristics, industrial cheese makers standardize their milk 1) to the type of cheese that milk is for and 2) in order to obtain a standard cheese product.

Standardization it is not normally performed by hobby or artisan cheese makers.


Standardization is the process of standardizing the milk to the required specifications depending on the type of cheese being made. This can involve several parameters such as:

  1. % Milkfat
  2. % Solids
  3. Casein to fat ratio – Altering either the fat or casein will have significant effects on the FDM (fat in dry matter) of the cheese.

Standardization of milk is commonly done by removing cream from the milk or by adding non-fat dry milk, skim milk, or condensed skim milk.


South Portugal Sheep Off Bridge -
South Portugal Sheep Off Bridge -

Measurement of % milkfat is often performed by a Babcock test or Gerber Method.

Measurement of casein is complicated, however one can estimate its percentage in milk as casein is approximately 78% of the total protein in milk. The casein level also varies with the fat content of milk. For milk with 3.6% fat, the casein content is about 2.5%. For every 1% change in fat content, the casein level will change about 0.4%. The casein content of Non-Fat Dry Milk averages 28%.