Home / AMERICAN NEWS / Why Is Milk White? – ‘The Why’

Why Is Milk White? – ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why.

Everywhere you look the media is pushing you telling you who to follow, what to watch and when to watch it.   You’re even sometimes told how to do it all.  Truth is, here at American Live Wire we do a bit of that too.  The big difference is we also tell you why.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

Why is milk white?” you ask? Ok, you didn’t ask it actually singer-songwriter James Halifko did. Still, a lot of you out there probably wondered about it, huh?

why is milk white

Why is milk white?/Image:DesktopNexus

Why is milk white? YahooAnswer poster “?” suggested milk is white “because cows are white.” Yeah, brown cows give us chocolate milk, too, right, “?”? (This poster is one of the artist known as Prince’s relatives no doubt—Google if you missed the joke.

Why is milk white? PhilinNWfla had an interesting offering. He said: “It’s very close to blood without the red blood cells.” While this might make sense, let’s take it a bit further, shall we?

Why is milk white? According to online sources such as the UCSB Science Line milk is white because it has “reflectance properties.” Milk or anything else that appears to be white simply “reflects wavelengths of light and absorbs none.”

Interestingly, the different “shades of white will vary depending upon the composition” of the milk. Factors that can “contribute to the color of milk are fat,” the amount of casein (a milk protein), “what calcium complexes “(minerals) and the amount of “water-soluble riboflavin (a vitamin).” These various compounds influence milk’s ivory or opaque color because they interfere with “light transmission.”

why is milk white

Why is milk white?/Image:DelCampe

Why is milk white? Basically, there are so many protein and fat molecules in milk that the light gets scattered which leaves us with “the appearance of white light.” If all the wavelengths were absorbed then “milk would be black.”

On a side note, the color of milk is also dependent on the cow’s diet.  If a cow eats a lot of carotene the milk will have a yellowish tinge to it. If a cow eats fee that contains high amounts of riboflavin this too will give the milk a yellow tint. Skim milk often has a bluish look to it because the fat and thus any “carotenoid pigments” have been removed.

Why is milk white? Now you know.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

American Live Wire . . . Listen and be heard.

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.
  • http://about.me/sumedha.mm Sumedha Manabarana

    I never knew these! It’s amazing. Thank you :))

    • Will Phoenix

      Hi Sumedha!
      I had no clue either until James Halifko suggested it while we were chatting about his music. I’m sure he’ll get a smile out of knowing folks enjoyed his question. Thanks for the comment and more importantly for reading my stuff!

      • http://about.me/sumedha.mm Sumedha Manabarana

        Thank you Will. It’s very kind of you.

      • http://about.me/sumedha.mm Sumedha Manabarana

        Aw…it’s been a year since I’ve lost pass word and I’ve just read your message. Thank you and hoping to see you soon. My best regards!

        • Will Phoenix

          You too! We don’t often have the comments section of ALW turned on due to viruses. I apologize for not being able to respond faster than I did. trust me, we apprecitae all the support!

  • tarot42

    Interesting opened my eyes

    • Will Phoenix

      Thank you, tarot. i didn’t know much of this myself until someone asked. Thanks also for reading my stuff!