“Drink Milk, Children, and Be Healthy!,” SUSU Expert Discusses how to Buy Quality Milk and Yogurt


In our time, a huge selection of milk and dairy products are presented to the buyer on the supermarket shelf. But this doesn’t mean that all of them are high-quality and bring people some special benefit. Guzel Alkhamova, candidate of technical sciences and associate professor of the SUSU School of Medical Bioogy.

Milk is a unique product by its chemical make-up. It contains more than 300 helpful chemical substances: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, ferments, and so on. Each of these elements affects human health in a good way. A huge benefit of all milk products is that they all have a large amount of calcium. This is why adults, and not only children, must drink it. For health, it’s best to purchase milk, since it contains all of the necessary proteins for human beings, milk fat, sterine, phospholipids, B vitamins, and fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K.

But which milk to buy? Our expert tells us.

“Before buying milk, you must know what you are buying it for. Are you going to make a soup or a hot cereal? Or do you just love milk and drink it happily? The answers to these questions will help you determine the fat content of your milk. There is fat-free (0.05%), or there are fat contents from 2.5% to 6%. To prepare hot cereals and soups, you should use milks with a fat content of 3.2% and more. As a drink, it’s better to prefer a content of 2.5%,” says Guzel Kiramovna.

The most important rule: pay attention to milk’s expiration date. It depends on the kind of thermal treatment:

“There is pasteurized, ultrapasteurized, and sterilized milk. This means that the product goes through different thermal treatments, which kill pathogenic microflora,” explains Guzel Alhamova.

  • Pasteurized milk keeps for up to a week.
  • Ultrapasteurized milk keeps for 3-6 months.
  • Sterilized milk can keep for up to 6 months. You could say that these are milk preserves.

“But this doesn’t mean that sterilized milk is worse. Not everyone can purchase milk products every day, for example, those who live in dachas and other people. So for them, ultrapasteurized and sterilized milk is an ideal solution,” explains Guzel Alkhamova.

At a few dishonest milk factories they distill the milk with water, add corn starch for thickness, soda to make the expiration date longer, and more substances.

Guzel Kiramovna told us about a few experiments that you can hold at home. For this, you need milk from different manufacturers and to make a few simple tests:

  1. Taste the milk. Does it have the milk taste you’re used to?
  2. Pour the milk in a clear container and look. If the milk is natural (middle fat content), then it should be slightly yellow. If the milk is more clear or has a blue tint to it, then it has water added.
  3. Pour a thin stream of milk into a glass of warm water. If it, at first, ends up at the bottom, and after some time becomes uniform to the water – this is good milk, without additives. If the milk mixes with water immediately, then it has a certain amount of water. This product, most likely, was diluted at the factory.

Besides milk purchases, you should also pay attention to fermented milk products.

“I myself especially love fermented milk products. Especially if they have the prefix bifido-, lacto-, or acido-. They mean that this product was made from natural milk normalized for fat content, which is full of beneficial cultures from fermented milk microorganisms. Fermented drinks are better absorbed than milk,” says Guzel Alkhamova.

Fermented milk products, in small quantities, can also be enjoyed by those who do not have the lactase ferment (among the people this is called milk protein intolerance). Of course, the favorite fermented milk product for adults and children is yogurt. Our expert Guzel Alkhamova suggests choosing such products not by their “clothing” but by their ingredients:

“If the word ‘yogurt’ is written on the packaging, that means that the product was prepared from normalized milk using living cultures: thermophilic lactic streptococcus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. These are helpful microorganisms known as probiotics which are able to improve the digestion process, remove toxins and waste, and synthesize B vitamins.”

The expert suggests choosing the product with the least amount of additives: dyes, stabilizers, in only normalized milk, ferment, pectin (a natural thickener).

“I would recommend children and adults to choose yogurts designed for children’s nutrition, since these products are held to the highest quality and safety standards. I want to note that the sweeter yogurt is, the more bad it is for you. On average, in one small container of yogurt (not for children’s nutrition) the sugar is several times more than the daily need for a child. Now there are yogurts containing dietary fiber, a number of mineral substances, vitamins, fruits, and berries. The healthiest yogurt is not sweet. I recommend these kinds of yogurt in particular. You can add your own pieces of fruit or grains to taste,” says Guzel Kiramovna.

Milk and fermented milk products affect human health positively. This is a proven fact. They have beneficial effects for the liver, improve blood circulation, strengthen bones, hair, and nails, and improve the immune system. With daily consumption of yogurt the body begins to intensively make interferon, which helps fight against viral infections.

“There is an old recipe for when people get sick: add a bit of sage broth, butter, and a bit of ground black pepper to hot milk. The pepper heats up the throat, the butter makes it softer, and the sage serves as an antiseptic,” says the expert.

A cup of warm milk after dinner helps children fall asleep.

To restore the microflora of the gut and improve strength, Guzel Alkhamova recomments consuming yogurt from natural milk with live cultures.

In this way, fermented milk products and milk itself have earned, without exaggeration, the title of products important for human life.


Yulia Uzmova, photo by Oleg Igoshin
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