A Fresh and Low-Fat Cow's Milk on Supermarket Shelf

Near the supermarket’s chill section lies a group of fresh cow’s milk. I am betting they are all fresh milks since they are in group and with the same packaging type, the tetra pack. The product is packed this way as seen on TV.

a lot of tetra pack fresh milk on supermarket shelves

I also assume that getting one 250 ml tetra pack is fine. It is like getting a sip of every brand available. I am going to buy different brands at bigger volumes later to find if my assumptions are correct.

The milk on my hand is Magnolia Purefresh low fat cow’s milk. It is claimed as excellent calcium source and with less than 2% fat. UHT processed for long life.

magnolia pure fresh

It is guaranteed pure and fresh from New Zealand. New Zealand has more than 6,000 acres of lush, green, and productive pastures grazed by dairy cows that produce fresh milk. That’s where Magnolia Purefresh low fat cow’s milk comes from. Enjoy its taste from the premium grown dairy cows.

No ingredients declaration required since the label says it all, milk and only fresh milk.

It is manufactured in New Zealand for Magnolia Inc. It traveled all the way from … to Philippines already processed and packed. Has a shelf life of until September 15, 2013. Five months shelf life is pretty long for a fresh milk, assuming it was manufactured just weeks ago.

The 250 ml pack has 4 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 100 mg total sodium, 12 g carbohydrates (12 sugar) and 9 g protein.

According to raw-milk-facts.com, raw milk has 3.9% fat. For UK terminology: whole milk = 4% fat, semi skimmed milk = 1.7% fat and the skimmed milk has 0.1 to 0.3%. For USA: whole milk has 3.25% fat, reduced-fat milk has 2%, lowfat or light milk has 1%, fat-free has 0%.

Reducing the original fat content is done by the process called skimming or simply cream removal. The process can either be gravitational or centrifugal. Both are physical processes that won’t cause any nutrient loss.

UHT or ultra hight temperature processing is done by heating the milk at 135 °C for one to two seconds, enough to kill bacterial spores and lengthen the milk life for several months.

It taste like milk. A milk with slightly diluted taste and without the disagreable cow smell (maango or ango in Tagalog). I had tasted fresh cow’s milk before, the thing that came straight from the dairy cow. It had an  unpleasant cow smell, it had even after short boiling.

Choice of Infant Formula as Influenced by Compatibility and Financial Capacity

For optimum baby’s health, breastfeeding is recommended and done as much as possible. When mother’s milk is not enough or when she became unable to breastfeed, the choice of suitable infant formula comes into play.

When my baby boy was born. The hospital recommended Enfalac brand. It was one of the expensive baby milks at that time. A wallet breaking expense but I felt I had no choice but to obey. It did not matter how much as long as it was for my baby’s sake.

After few weeks, we noticed he was pooping like crazy, pooping almost every hour. We asked the pedia for other milk recommendation. She said “Similac” – a milk which had equivalent price. We changed into it and the result was very satisfactory.

After few months, we felt our salaries cannot cope with the expenditures. We were forced into choosing a cheaper brand. We transferred to Alacta Bibo Trio. It was almost 50% cheaper and was found compatible with our baby’s tummy after few days of trial. It saved us from cash troubles.

Currently, I am earning four times as much as before. We are taking care of our two months old baby girl. We are giving her Promil S26 as milk supplement. It is compatible to her as we observed. The milk is also expensive but I feel I can sustain it.

These is the trend I observed. If the budget permits, anyone want the expensive and compatible milk for her baby. If the budget is tight, the cheaper but compatible alternative is chosen. If money is too tight, the cheapest even if not compatible is given to baby.

A true story. A mother living few meters away from our home is giving Alaska powdered milk to her two months old baby. The milk is obviously not designed to baby of that age but seemed not giving the very young person any trouble.

Another true story. The rice milk is popular for babies at six months of age. In most cases, the reason for this is to cut on cost and not health concerns. Our very own 2 1/2 year old toddler has been drinking rice milk as alternate with commercial milk since he was six months old. He is very active and very talkative. He is tinkering with every toy in hand and asking about everything he sees.

Sterilized Milk and X-Ray Results

I asked her to buy me a can of sterilized milk, the popular Bear Brand Sterilized. I drank it just before x-ray examination.

bear brand sterilizedIt is a common belief that drinking sterilized milk would give a favorable x-ray image. Stores near medical laboratories often have plenty of milk stocks. It is a hit among people getting medical test.

Is it true? Not quite sure! Following the sterilized milk tradition would not do any harm. Milk is good for us. It is a complete protein source. We should be drinking it regularly. In case true, it will cover any undiscovered disease which may require immediate treatment – this case is bad.

From the first day of high school, to college up to professional work. I have been drinking sterilized milk before every x-ray test. I failed only once. That time, a slight scoliosis was detected – the side ward bending or misalignment of vertebral column. I drank milk again the next test and no abnormality was found.

It can’t clearly remember If we were required to have such test during high school to college days.

My friend had a tuberculosis. We were both hired in the same company and had medical examination. We both drank sterilized milk before x-ray. My test result was normal but his was not. The scar made by his previous illness appeared. He then secured a certification from his previous doctor proving that his disease was cured long time ago.

Do sterilized milk really affect x-ray results?

Mercury Contaminated Infant Formula, Quan You | Advisory

Following the ruckus about the mercury contaminated milk, the Food and Drug Administration, FDA,  released an advisory last June 20, 2012. The DOH-FDA Advisory No. 2012-002. The advisory is originally available in fda.gov.ph website in scanned image pdf format.

Subject: Reports of mercury tainted infant formula manufactured by Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group in China

Following the reports that China’s product quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), detected unusual levels of mercury in several batches of Yili baby formula (Quan You baby formula), the public is advised that the product is Not Registered with FDA neither any record of application of infant formula manufactured and sourced from Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group.

Nonetheless and as precautionary measure, the FDA is monitoring the presence in the market of the identified and affected infant formula product and is now coordinating with Bureau of Customs to ensure that the said infant formula will not be allowed entry into the country. Also, the assistance of the Local Government Units are called upon in reporting individuals, outlets or establishments found selling the identified infant formula product. Furthermore, the public is strictly advised to be vigilant and report immediately to the Food and Drug Administration at these numbers (02)807-5606, should the Yili baby formula (Quan You baby formula) be seen or found in possession of any individual.

Signed by :
Nicolas B Lutero, III Esq., Ceso III
Assistant Secretary, Department of Health
Officer-In-Charge, FDA

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According to EPA a Reference Dose, RfD, of 0.1 µg/kg body weight/day exposure have no recognized adverse effects. This limit is considerably low. It is bothersome considering the consumers of the said formula are infants who are yet to develop their immune system.

Authorities assured that the said milk has not entered the local market yet and will not be allowed to.  No milk of any kind has been imported from China since the 2008 melamine incident.

mercury short merc

How to Make Coconut Milk Soft Cheese/Kesong Puti

Can we make soft cheese out of coconut milk? Maybe or maybe not! Here are the three versions for you to try.

Version 1. Shredded semi-matured coconut with a dash of rock salt and very little cold pressed olive oil. I think the coconut maturity for use is what we called alangan. The fully matured coconut is hard and has a distinct oily taste. Shredded means it has to be turned to small pieces using cheese shredder. This is an attempt to mimic the looks and salty taste of cheese.

Version 2. Grated matured coconut is pressed to extract out the milk. Hydraulic pressed is recommended get most liquid. Citric juice and rock salt are added to taste. Then milk solids are concentrated by placing the mixture on fine filter paper for 36 to 48 hours.

Version 3. A procedure by Sanchez, P.C. and P.M. Rasco, 1983. This one entails mixing coconut milk and dairy milk followed by actual cheese process.

1) Add 80 grams cold pressed coconut milk to 840 grams water of 72ºC temperature. Stir for five minutes. Add non-fat dry milk or powdered skim milk gradually with continuous mixing.

2) Add pure culture of Streptococcus lactis and Streptococcus diacetilactis and let stand for 15 minutes. Mix three percent salt and filter through clean cheesecloth.

3) Pasteurize at 72ºC for five minutes then cool quickly to 40ºC  by placing the cooking vessel on running water bath.

4) Mix in three percent rennet and let undisturbed for 30 minutes. Filter off the excess water by placing on slotted trays lined with cheesecloth for about 12 hours.

Coconut milk and dairy milk has similar properties. That’s why the first can be used as extender for the latter. Not completely the same though. Using only coconut or coconut milk for soft cheese production requires an entirely different procedure.

Soon To Be A Prescription Milk Formula

I was standing at front of hospital emergency room. A guard near me was listening  for instruction of his boss through a two way radio. The instruction was simple. Inspect all the baggage of visiting people. A body inspection should also be done. Any form of commercial milk  should be confiscated. The one carrying the forbidden commodity will be stripped of the right to enter hospital premises.

My better half barely had breastmilk after giving birth. The nurse asked me to buy commercial infant formula cause our newborn baby must drink milk.  It was obvious that this hospital never forbid the use of commercial formula. I was very thankful that my wife gave birth in this hospital. My son would starve if born in hospital I mentioned in the first paragraph.

I noticed this statement written on milk package. The use of milk supplement must only be upon the advice of health professional. The unnecessary and improper use of this product might be dangerous to your child’s health.

commercial milk warning sign

The fact is always a fact. Breastmilk is still the best for babies up to two years of age. And it is a mandatory statement on every infant formula. The authorities might have thought of another mandatory statement, telling the consumer that use of commercial formula might be dangerous.

First, the hospital was prohibiting the use of commercial infant formula. Second, the milk statement itself. It seemed discouraging the consumer to use it. What is next? They might line it as prescription drug. Anyone should seek pediatrician’s written letter before buying milk.

Breastmilk is still the best for babies up to two years of age, if the mother is able to produce sufficient amount of milk.