2013 milk market information shows that USA dairymen produced 200.3 billion pounds of milk.
This raw milk volume contained 25.172 billion pounds of milk solids: these are primarily
** Butterfat ** Protein ** Lactose ** Minerals
Thus, roughly 12.5% of the total volume of milk as blended from farms’ production is milk solids leaving roughly 87.5% as fluid carrier (ie, water that flushed these milk solids from the mammary glands).
Of course, when we bottle milk as a beverage for drinking (or to pour on morning cereal) (or to mix into casserole or cake recipes), that “fluid carrier” still has a purpose as hydration. In 2013, 26.1% of milk produced (52.3 billion pounds) went into a jug or bottle.
That left 148 billion pounds of milk whose processing involves removing some or all of the water. It is this removal of water that is the biggest single [energy] cost in the milk processing industry. It is in the transport of this excess water that milk hauling costs are more burdensome to dairymen, and the price of milk on your milk check is also proportionately reduced by the processing “make allowances”.
Of the milk not bottled, 37.1% (74.3 billion pounds) is made into cheese of various forms. The average cheese yield from commercial blended milk is 10%. Thus 74.3 billion pounds of raw milk gets made into 7.45 billion pounds of cheese, leaving behind 66.85 billion pounds of whey.
Whey will contain the milk solids not formed into curds. It can be dried into a powder that can be used in processed food or animal feed, as long as federal environmental rules are met. Otherwise it becomes an industrial waste and thus must be handled similarly to sewage waste to recover the water.
18.9% of milk is “separated” (cream removed). The cream is churned into butter and the skim milk is dried into non-fat dry milk powder which again will enter either human food or animal feed.
4.2% of milk becomes yogurt or other “cultured cream” products.
4.1% of milk becomes ice cream or other frozen packaged products.
This leaves 9.6% of milk that is processed into a myriad of other forms (eg, evaporated milk) some of which have very low value recovery, like pet food, or the result of rejected loads.
The genetics of increased value milk
We provide information on all milk components with the exception of lactose (milk sugar):
Butterfat percent (bf%) This is estimated to be 50% heritable, one of the higher traits measured
Protein percent (pr%) This is estimated to be 55% heritable, the highest of measured traits
Somatic Cell Count (SCS) Estimated at 15% heritability, lower values lead to quality premiums
Beta Casein (A2 preferred) Directly heritable as a dual allele gene pairing
Kappa Casein (B preferred) Directly heritable as a dual allele gene pairing
Beta Casein is a health quality protein preferred by those with various autoimmune diseases
Kappa Casein is the form of protein that produces curds and will increase cheese yields 7% to 15%