Why is milk white?

Browse → Stuff We Eat → Dairy & Protein


Juices are usually the same color as the fruit or vegetable they came from – orange juice is orange, lemonade is yellow, tomato juice is red. So why is milk white? Is it because cows are white? If so, why doesn’t milk have big black spots like cows also have??

Milk gets its white color because of the nutrients it’s made up of! Among the many proteins in milk is one known as casein, which is full of good-for-you calcium that helps keep your bones strong and your teeth healthy. It’s these little units of casein as well as the fat found naturally in milk that give it that recognizable color

If milk did not have all of these nutrients, it might be a different color. Can you imagine drinking pink or blue or purple milk??!


by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    The reason that casein and fat make milk white has to do with the way they reflect light! Light contains a huge spectrum of colors that it shines onto every object that it reaches. When light touches an object, the energies of some of these colors are absorbed (taken in) by it, and others are reflected (cast back). – It’s the energies that are reflected which your eyes collect and then interpret as a specific color. 
    Objects that are white (like milk!) are those that have reflected ALL the colors contained within light. Even though it’s confusing to think about, it’s the combination of all the colors being reflected together that make up white! (Black, on the other hand, reflects none of them at all, so it’s the absence of any of them!)
  • Exploration


    Udder-ly good trivia!


    • How much milk do you think a cow can produce in a day? – The answer is anywhere from about 50-100 glasses!
    • In order to produce so much milk, cows have to drink lots and lots of water! Cows can drink 25-50 gallons in just one day. Take a look at how big a gallon is – that’s a lot!
    • Most Americans drink about 21 gallons of milk in a year! Go Calcium!


Didn't find what you were looking for? Ask the Community          Ask friends & family