Introduction: Milk: Inside the Factory—How Our Food Is Made (Series 1) (02:24)
See excerpts from this film with Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey, which shows how milk gets from cows to store shelves in just 24 hours. Learn about the process of making cheese and ice cream and the history of making butter.
Automated Milking (03:33)
Neil and Jane Dyson belong to a cooperative of 13,500 farmers. Their specially bred heifers begin producing milk after calving, at 2 years. Wallace checks a cow for mastitis and attaches it to the milking system.
Milk Transportation and Testing (01:19)
The 12,000 daily liters, produced by Dyson's cows, are shipped in a refrigerated tanker to a nearby dairy factory. Compensation is determined by fat and protein content.
What Makes Milk Intolerable? (01:50)
Humans are the only mammals that drink milk during adulthood. Two thirds of us become intolerant after our bodies stop producing lactase, which helps break down milk sugars. Hear statistics for the US, France, and China.
Lactose Tolerant DNA Sequence (03:20)
Most people cannot digest milk sugar. Scientists believe a genetic mutation occurred thousands of years ago in Hungary and spread throughout Europe. Healey tests for her own DNA sequence.
Quality and Antibiotic Testing (03:35)
Two hundred people work around the clock processing 171 million gallons of milk every year. Seventy-five tankers deliver milk every day and each batch is checked before unloading.
Process Control Room (01:39)
Milk sits for 16 hours in 79,000 gallon capacity raw milk silos before it is transferred, at lightning speed, to finished silos.
Milk Processing (04:06)
In just 55 seconds, milk is put through 4 automated stages: separation, standardization, homogenization, and pasteurization.
19th Century Tuberculosis Outbreak (02:56)
Raw milk was widely distributed with the invention of the steam engine. Churns carried milk from multiple cows allowing for widespread disease from just one infected cow. Introduction of the milk rail tanker in 1920 did not reduce the chance of infection.
Discovery of Pasteurization (01:41)
In 1864 Louis Pasteur heated wine to kill bacteria. People in the 1930s and 1940s were skeptical that this method would kill tuberculosis microbes in milk. It became standard procedure in the 1960s, though not mandatory in the UK or Wales.
Final Milk Testing (01:50)
After pasteurization, milk samples are checked for taste, fat ratio, and fat globule size. With the press of a button 25,000 gallons of milk is transferred to 1 of 12 finished milk silos.
Making Cheese (04:04)
Visit a cheese factory that makes 100 million cheese blocks annually. One cheese vat holds 5,000 gallons of milk. Bacteria are added to transform milk sugars into lactic acid. Rennet separates solids; salt arrests the action of the bacteria.
Maturing Cheese (01:59)
Cheese blocks are kept in a controlled warehouse, unlike cave maturing 400 years ago. Healey correctly identifies the block of cheese that has potential for extended maturing.
Milk Bottling (03:16)
One million containers are made daily at the dairy factory. A three-stage automated process fills 17,000 every hour. See a quality control machine reject a defective bottle.
Traditional Butter Making (05:08)
Before refrigeration, milk soured quickly, so butter was made to prevent waste. Dairy maids began the hard job with 2 hours of cow milking. Beta-carotene from grass creates the yellow color. It takes up to 2 hours to turn 17 pints of milk into 1 pound of butter.
Robotic Milk Dispatching (03:16)
Controlled by the warehouse management system, AGVs dispatch 396,000 gallons of milk per day. Self-docking and charging robots do the work of 300 people.
Robotic Milking System (04:58)
Merlin milking machines are used on 5% of farms in the UK. One farmer's cows choose to milk themselves three times a day. A microchip enables data recording of milk composition and quantity.
Making Ice Cream (04:04)
This Gloucester factory uses 168 tons of milk each week. The process begins with mixing the main ingredients in 4-ton vats. Air is added in the freezing department. Flash frozen bars are dipped in Belgian chocolate, wrapped, boxed, and packed.
Manually Filled Orders (03:14)
Anything other than a full trolley must be hand-picked. Wallace fills an order before calling an AGV to collect it for store delivery.
Credits: Milk: Inside the Factory—How Our Food Is Made (Series 1) (00:42)
Credits: Milk: Inside the Factory—How Our Food Is Made (Series 1)
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