The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has published in its July edition of its magazine Compra Maestra un analysis of 38 UHT semi-skimmed milks. Although all brick milks obtain a result that is at least “acceptable”, the Organization emphasizes that “only 7 of the 38 brands can be classified as very good ”, and only semi-skimmed milk from Hacendado (Mercadona) stands as the winner of the title of “Master Purchase”.
“In his favor, its good quality of processing and tasting, highlighting aspects such as creaminess and intensity of its flavor; in addition to its low price (0.58 euros per liter). And the thing is that the price is another factor to take into account: the distribution brands (white brands) are, on average, 22% cheaper than the rest, since it is a product that is usually used as a claim ”, highlights the Organization in your appraisal.
To reach this conclusion, explains the OCU, the milks have been subjected to a tasting tasting and laboratory tests to evaluate a series of parameters. “From the labeling and nutritional composition up to the quality of the raw material attending to industrial heat treatment, aging and acidity. In addition, it has been verified if there is presence of stabilizers, how is the degree of hygiene and possible fraud. In these tests some problems have been detected in several products ”.
“We value the protein and fat content, which in all cases falls within the acceptable parameters. We also evaluate how rich it is in calcium (higher than whole milk) and phosphorus. On the other hand, the measurement of the lean dry extract allows us to know part of the composition of the milk ”, they explain. What’s more, any adulteration has been ruled out: “In the laboratory it has been verified whether there has been addition of water, addition of cheese permeate or regeneration of powdered milk ”.
These problems they do not affect the consumer’s food safety, but they influence the final quality, they argue. The more differences “significant ”among brands occurred mainly as a result of tasting tests. The faults, detected by a team of five expert judges specialized in dairy, have to do with flavors and odors too light, acidic notes, little body, lack of creaminess and muted tones, which affect one in four brands.
On the other hand, the problems detected in the laboratory have been of two types. “First of overheating in the sterilization process of some milks, which implies a loss of essential amino acids and vitamins, as happens for example with Auchan’s milk (Alcampo); and second, by a certain lack of freshness“. All added up, Hacendado’s semi-skimmed milk tops the list with a score of 78, followed by El Buen Pastor with a 76 and with Clesa Bienatur closing the podium with a 75.
Furthermore, the OCU points out, “it is more and more frequent that milk containers show certificates on the care that livestock receive, such as animal welfare (good nutrition, good housing, good health …) or grazing milk (which guarantees that they have grazed in the field for at least six hours). They are information that the consumer values very positively, although at the moment it does not seem that they influence the final quality of the milk ”.
46.5% of the milk sold in Spain is semi-skimmed, with “an intermediate amount of fat (1.5 to 1.8%) between whole milk (at least 3.5% fat) and skimmed (0.5% fat at most)”. The “versatility ”of this milk is what has made the ‘semi’ in “the favorite option of Spanish households, who are committed to enjoying all the properties of milk, but with a little less fat ”, concludes the Organization.