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Introduce your group to a variety of milks by conducting a sensory evaluation lab.

Equipment

  • 6–8 types of milk to sample
  • A clear pitcher for each type of milk
  • Set of sampling cups
  • Soda crackers
  • Milk Lab worksheets (see pdf below)

Instructions

Procedures

  1. Choose approximately 6—8 types of milk. The following milks are suggested for tasting: whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, UHT milk, acidophilus milk, lactose-reduced milk, evaporated milk, microfiltered milk, goat milk. Although not a milk, but used by some people as a replacement, you may want to include a plain soy beverage in the line-up. You may also want to try a milk that has been left to stand at room temperature as a contrast to one of the milks directly out of the refrigerator.
  2. Pour each milk into a clear pitcher and place each pitcher at a separate station. Label the pitcher using numbers. The identity of the milks will be revealed at the end of the session.
  3. Distribute the Milk Lab worksheets. Have each person fill in the sensory evaluation portion of the worksheet as they rotate to each station with a different milk. Have them try to characterize the milks by taste, aroma colour and texture. Discuss terms that can be used, such as creamy watery, fatty, bland, sweet, sour, etc.
  4. Supply each person with a 30 mL cup for taking samples. cups may be rinsed between sampling. Provide soda crackers and water for palate-cleansing between tastings.
  5. Review the tasting experience and reveal the identity of the various milks. Discuss why some milks appear whiter than others (differences in fat, heat treatments). Were there any surprises when the identities of the milks were revealed? What were the favourite milks? Is this related to the milks each person usually drinks? What about the cold milk in contrast to the one standing at room temperature? Refer to Take Care of Your Milk to discuss the proper refrigeration of milk.
  6. Use the Nutrition Facts panels and ingredient lists on the milk packages to complete the rest of the Milk Lab worksheet.

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