Fresh milk usually contains numerous microorganisms and it is necessary to boil or pasteurize milk before consuming it or for better storage. Curdling of milk is a sign of spoiled milk. This can either happen naturally or it can be done artificially to get different products. Natural curdling can take place due to various microorganism which can be harmful but the artificial curdling can give useful products like cheese, yogurt, whey protein, etc.
In the curdled milk, the protein present in the milk gets tangled, forming a solid mass and gets separated from the liquid which is known as whey. Sour smell and bitter taste also indicate towards spoiled milk. If the milk is spoiled naturally, then it may be caused due to the attack of microorganism, like bacteria or fungus and hence it is not good for health. Whereas artificial curdling is done with rennet, acid or with the help of useful microorganism. The products made from this process are not only used for delicious recipes but are also known for their health benefits.
Uses of Curdled Milk
Though curdled milk is considered as spoiled milk, it can be used for various purposes. Following are some of the uses of this milk.
- If the milk is spoiled or curdled then it is boiled to get paneer or cottage cheese. The coagulated part is poured inside a cloth and the liquid is squeezed out. This cottage cheese can be used in various recipes and in various forms. Apart from this, cottage cheese can also be prepared by using citric acids. Just drop few drops of lemon juice in the normal milk and stir. The milk will get curdled in few minutes.
- The curdled milk is used to make yogurt. The milk is curdled with the help of bacteria under anaerobic conditions which results in the fermentation. Yogurt is used daily in many parts of the world.
- Milk is curdled with the help of rennet which is a natural complex enzyme. This milk is used to prepare hard cheese like Cheddar or Swiss.
- The left out product after the coagulation of the milk is known as whey. This is used as nutritional supplement by the body builders. In countries like Switzerland it is used in soft drinks. It is also used for the production of ricotta, brown cheese, etc.
How to Prevent Milk from Curdling
If the milk is curdled by using various process to get different products then it is safe for consumption. But if the milk is naturally curdled, gives a sour or foul smell and tastes bitter then the milk is not good for health hence the consumption should be avoided. Curdling takes place when there is a sudden change in temperature. The foremost thing to remember when you get milk, is to bring it to boil.
When you boil the milk all the microorganisms like bacteria, mold and yeast are killed and the milk remains unaffected for a long time. Pasteurization method is also very helpful in improving milk shelf life. Nowadays, we get pasteurized milk in all the stores. Try to store milk at a low temperature or in fridge which will restrict the growth of micro organisms. In summers, try to boil the milk twice a day. Well, these all tips will be enough to prevent the milk from curdling.
Naturally spoiled milk may consists of micro organisms which are harmful for health. It can lead you to many health complications which may be life-threatening. Hence, try to prevent milk form curdling and if you find it spoiled then discard it. Products which are formed by the artificial curdling are safe to use.