The milking process happens two to three times each day in order to collect milk and provide the proper milking schedule for the cow needs. After the cows’ udders are cleaned with iodine or another sanitizing product, the udders are inserted into the milking machine which uses pulsations to collect the cow’s milk. This process is done for about 15 minutes and reaches temperatures of approximately 100˚F. Milk flows through refrigerated pipes and into a bulk tank which is sanitized for proper health standards and quality assurance. The milk is cooled in the tank to 36˚F to 38˚F. The milk is then taken to the processing plant where it is pasteurized and homogenized. The entire process from milking to being delivered to store shelves typically takes 2 days.
The process of pasteurization kills harmful bacteria by heating raw milk to 161.5˚F for 15 seconds and then cooling it immediately.
Homogenization then takes place where the process of breaking down fat molecules so that they stay integrated rather than separating as cream.