Sunday, November 8, 2015


JCN asks: What the story behind permeate in milk?

Well, it is simple enough but the marketers have had a field day with it, as if it is something evil and noxious.  Admittedly the name does conjure up images of goo oozing out of leg ulcers.

Simply put, permeate is milk with the fat and protein removed.  It consists of water, lactose, vitamins and minerals.  It is to milk what plasma is to blood.

Most commonly it is a by-product on cheese production.

It is the whey in Little Miss Muffett's curds and whey.

So why add it to milk?

Labelling laws.  Milk has a nutrition panel that gives a level of fat and protein present.  No-one consults the cows and they produce a wide range of fat and protein levels.  Dairies blend full cream milk with cream, permeate and skimmed milk to produce a standardised product that matches their label claims.

So it is natural, it is part of milk and it serves a purpose.

When Woolworths say that their milk is 'permeate free', they are lying.

Where is the ACCC when you need them?