Properties of dairy products

Theingredientsofmilkthatincludethewholespectrumofessentialnutrientsmakeitthemostbalancedfoodproduct we know. Milk is essential food for all the age groups of the population. According to the types of proteins, milk is classified into casein (cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s, buffalos’) and albumin (mare’s, donkey’s, mother’s). According to the quantity of fat content milk is either full-cream or partially skimmed.

Cow’s milk has the largest share of our population’s diet. The best quality cow’s milk is the one where no nutrients have been extracted, or added. It contains 35% proteins represented mainly by 3 types: casein (80 %), lactoalbumin (12 %), lactoglobulin (6 %). Proteins are comprised of all the essential aminoacids. The latter are 98% assimilated.

Fats in milk are finely emulgated, their melting point is low and they are also highly assimilated –  98%. They are composed of triglycerides, phospholipids (lecithin), sterines (cholesterol), fat-soluble vitamins (vit. A and vit. D) and fatty acids. The largest share of fatty acids goes for the saturate fatty acids – 60%.

The main carbohydrate in milk is lactose (4,5 – 7,0%). The benefits of lactose have been well studied. It improves the assimilation of proteins and minerals (calcium, etc.) from food, enhances the maintenance of healthy gut microflora. Approximately 50 % of minerals in milk are salts of calcium and phosphorus. Milk is a good source of natrium, potassium and magnesium, but is poor in iron and copper. Milk is a good source of vit. A and vit В2 and carotene.


Yoghurt. It is made of milk through lactic acid fermentation caused by bacteria (Lactobacilus bulgaricus и Streptococus termofilus). Yoghurt is traditional food and a unique product for our geographic location. Yoghurt is different from milk because of the increased content of lactic acid, galactose, peptides, free amino acids and free fatty acids. Milk is a good source of easily absorbed calcium, quality protein and a number of vitamins. One of the best qualities of yoghurt is in the lactic acid produced by the decomposition of lactose. Lactic acid provides the optimal conditions for the development of lactic acid bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract; it suppresses decay processes and the development of disease microorganisms in the intestines. Yoghurt improves stomach secretion, it normalizes bowel movements, and it reduces the production of gases and improves defecation. There is evidence of yoghurt’s beneficial impact on the immune system, and especially of Lactobacilus bulgaricus’ antitumor effect. Because of all this Bulgarian yoghurt deserves to be identified as natural functional food.


Cheese. A durable dairy product produced by curdling milk using rennet enzyme or lactic-acid yeast. Cheese contains all the basic substances of milk except for lactose. The protein and fat content significantly varies with different cheeses.

White cheese soaked in brine is most popular inBulgaria. The fact that it is rich in salt must be taken into account in dietetic nutrition or when feeding small children. 


Milkbuttercontains 80 % fats, 1 % proteins and 0,7 % lactose. It also contains vitamin D, carotene, tocopherols, vitamin B, phospholipids and cholesterol. Its rich content of short- and medium-chain fatty acids contribute to its high biological value.


Being the representatives of one of the major food groups enshrined in healthy nutrition recommndations, milk and dairy products take an obligatory and a deserved position in our population’s diet. They must be present on the Bulgarian table every day and an integral part of the whole family’s menu. Naturally, the quantity of milk and dairy products consumed must meet the physiological needs and the health of each person. According to modern recommendations for the population’s healthy nutrirtion, the recommended daily milk, and respectively dairy products consumption is as follows:


Age group

Milk and dairy products (fat contents in %)

Milk (fresh, yoghurtasadrinkorinfood)

Dairyproducts (cheese, curd, yellow cheese, etc.)

1-3 years

Full-milk, fats more than 3%

400 g/day

25 g/day

3-7 years


2% fat content at least twice a week, and during the rest of the week between 3% and 3,6%

400 g/day

30 g/day

7-18 years


Skimmed – up to 2%

400 g/day

30-50 g/day

18-65 years


Skimmed – up to 1,5%

200 g/day

50 g/day

> 65 years

Skimmed – up to 1,5%

300 g/day

30-40 g/day