By Fonterra’s director for Category, Strategy & Innovation, Mark Piper




Hot on the heels of World Milk Day, we did some Googling to find out what people want to know about milk. What we found were quite a few myths, influenced by outdated research and wrong information.  So, we thought it was time to set the record straight.

Is trim milk watered down?

Water is never added to our lite or trim fresh milks. The only difference is the proportion of cream we remove to get the right fat level. This gives a lighter tasting milk while still providing a rich bundle of essential nutrients, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a lower calorie option.

Does trim milk have added sugar?

No sugars are added to our fresh plain milk in New Zealand. When you look at a label on your bottle of milk, trim milk may contain around 0.2g more naturally-occurring milk sugar (lactose) than full fat milk, per 100mL. This is because when you reduce fat levels, the levels of everything else within the milk, including protein, calcium and lactose will increase proportionally. So, while lowering the fat results in a slightly higher level of sugar, it’s not because it has been added.

Can you eat dairy if you’re lactose intolerant?

People with lactose intolerance do not need to avoid dairy food, which is different from dairy protein allergy where all dairy must be avoided. Most people with clinically diagnosed lactose intolerance can consume up to a glass of regular milk and other dairy products without any concerns, particularly cheese and yoghurts because they’re naturally low in lactose, or when consumed as part of a meal. But we have your bases covered – there are some great lactose-free options out there.

If you think you might have lactose intolerance, see your health professional for a proper diagnosis and dietary advice tailored to your individual needs.

Mark Piper is Fonterra’s director for Category, Strategy & Innovation and has been with the Co-operative for more than 20 years in different parts of the business. He leads Fonterra’s Palmerston North-based Research and Development Centre (FRDC) – home to more than 350 researchers, engineers, nutritionists and scientists from 46 different countries, with more 4,500 years of combined dairy experience.

The information and opinions within this column are not necessarily the views or opinions of Hot Source, NZ Food Technology or the parent company, Hayley Media.