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10 Numbers Behind ... Milk

10 Numbers Behind ... Milk

Everything there is to know about one of the most popular drinks in the world: a list of milk facts and figures not to be missed.

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A cascade of numbers to learn everything there is to know about one of the most popular drinks in the world. One we have all certainly tasted when we were kids: here is a list of interesting milk facts and figures.

5.2 is the percentage of fats to be found in milk produced by Jersey cows. The quantity of lipids in fact varies a good deal from one breed to another. The Zebu cow comes second with its 4.7% of fats, followed by the Brown Swiss (4%) and the Holstein-Friesian (3.6%). The amount of protein is consequently lower, while carbohydrates remain practically unvaried.

9 percent of the milk produced each year is used to make dairy products. The figures relating to production by country are not reliable, but what we do know is that the leaders are New Zealand, Europe, the US, Belarus, Argentina, Australia and Uruguay. These seven countries churn out 55 million tons of dairy products per annum, amounting to 84% of the world’s total production.

25.8 euros was the going price for 100 kilos of milk in the EU in June 2016. A value that has continued to decrease since June 2014, with a downward trend also forecasted for the coming months.

87.8 grams of water are contained in 100 grams of cow’s milk. In the same type of milk there are also 3.2 grams of protein and 3.9 grams of fat (in the case of full fat fresh milk). There are also 4.8 grams of carbohydrates, 14 milligrams of cholesterol and 120 milligrams of calcium. A composition which, all told, supplies 66 Kcal.

98 percent of milk sugar is made up of lactose, the most characteristic substance of this liquid. Indeed, milk owes its typical flavour largely to the presence of lactose. The latter is a disaccharide sugar composed of two combined elements: galactose and glucose. These are the two molecules into which lactose is broken down when we digest milk, thanks to an enzyme called lactase to be found on our intestinal walls.

135.6 litres of milk amounts to the average annual pro capita consumption of the Irish. Closely followed by the Finns (127 pro capita), the British (106), the Australians (105), the Swedish (90), the Canadians (78), the Americans (76), the Brazilians (55.7), the French (55.5) and the Italians (54). If we consider cheese, the situation changes, placing France at the top of the charts (26.3 kilos pro capita annually), which is also the country with the highest consumption of butter (7.5 kilos pro capita).

1,540,000 tons of ewe’s milk are produced in India, which is the world’s number one exporter of this type of milk. In its wake come Turkey (1.1) and Greece (0.75). On the subject of “alternative” milks, the greatest producer of goat’s milk is India (with five million tons), followed by Bangladesh (2.6) and Sudan (1.5). India is also the leading producer of buffalo milk (70 million tons), well ahead of Pakistan (24.3) and China (three).

2,000,000 tons of dairy products are imported by China every year. It is the world’s biggest importer followed by Russia (1.4), Mexico and Japan (both with 0.5). The top 14 importing countries purchase a total of over eight tons of products each year.

91,000,000 tons of milk were produced in the US in 2013 (the latest figure published), the nation at the top of the charts. It is followed by India (61), China (35), Brazil (34), Germany (31), Russia (30), France (24), New Zealand (19), Turkey (17) and the UK (14).

735 billion litres of milk are produced worldwide. The EU comes first with 131 billion, followed by the US with 91 billion. The top eight producers (the eighth is New Zealand with 21 billion litres), supply 55% of the world’s milk requirements.

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