Out of all the questions you thought you’d never hear being asked or answered, we bet this was the last one. Or maybe it wasn’t even something that crossed your mind. But the internet is a weird place, and it is within these weird folds that we find questions like: is milk acidic or basic?
Or, for the people who are a little more well-versed within the ways of chemistry, is milk an acid, base or neutral? We figured that since none of us has ever really thought of that but is still being asked on the internet, it must be those health-conscious people again, and we try to answer it for the people. Does milk have acid, or is it acidic on its own? Well, without any further ado, let’s get to answering this question.
Right off the bat, let us tell you the answer to the question: is milk acidic or basic. The answer is: acidic. Now, if it’s so acidic, why didn’t it burn you the one time some of it spilled out of your cereal bowl? Well, there’s an answer for that too. And that is that while milk is acidic, it is not too acidic to cause burns and start getting used in Breaking Bad episodes to dissolve bodies. It is relatively mildly acidic, which is evident from the fact that it contains lactic acid, but isn’t entirely composed of it.
Now onto answering the questions.
What is the PH of Milk?
As mentioned above, the pH of milk depends on a lot of factors, but the average pH of the most consumed milk (cows) is usually somewhere between 6.7 to 6.9. Which is very slightly acidic, considering that at 7, you have neutral substances, like water, which is neither acidic or basic. So, you could argue that milk might be neutral as well, considering that it’s borderline neutral anyway, but for the sake of science, let’s take into matter the 6 and call it slightly acidic. And as we’ve already mentioned, it is because milk contains a lot of lactic acid, which gives the milk its acidic pH.
PH of Different Milk Types: Cows
For cow milk, which is the most consumed around the world, the pH stands at 6.05, which is slightly acidic, but much closer to being neutral. Again, considering that there is no objective number as to what the pH of milk is owing to a multitude of factors, pH of milk varies across species, concentration of lactic acid and water etc.
Slightly less acidic at a pH of 6.28, we have goat milk, which stands at number two in worldwide consumption. Again, this drop in acidity is due to the lower quantity of lactic acid in goat milk, which could help explain for us clueless people as to why goats milk is used so frequently in face masks and whatnot.
At a pH of 6.07, buffalo milk is similar to cow milk, albeit a little less acidic (down to decimal points). This is understandable, seeing as cows and buffaloes are biologically much closer (at least to us non-taxonomic people).
Is Milk Acidic or Basic?
Milk is slightly on the acidic side. With a pH ranging from 6.7 to 6.9, milk is considered slightly acidic, because of the presence of lactic acid in considerable amounts. If you know your pH scales, you’ll know that it goes up to 14, and that 0 to 6 are for acids, while 7 to 14 are for bases.
And considering that the pH scale works on a descending order (acidity decreases as numbers progress), you can now pretty much guess the kind of acidity milk has. The only time milk will hurt is when its boiling and some of that hot milk spills on your hand. Otherwise, the kind of acidity milk has is not potent enough to cause some serious damage.
Is Milk Considered Neutral?
We forgive this incessant questioning about milk being acidic or neutral because with the pH that is so close to 7, we thought of this ourselves. Why not round milk up to a 7 and call it a day? And call milk neutral? After all, its really not that acidic, seeing as how if you have acidity, you can actually drink milk to make it better or even go away. Why not consider milk neutral then?
Well, milk isn’t considered and called neutral because regardless of how we round up things and how milk is at 6.9, milk always contains lactic acid (except for plant-based milks that don’t contain lactic acid at all), which itself isn’t that much acidic, but the presence of which makes milk acidic. And this presence of lactic acid, no matter how much in concentration or percentage, will make milk acidic, ever so slightly.
What’s With The White Cells With Milk?
One of the more creepy sides of the wholesome thing is that milk, white blood cells and some epithelial cells can shave off the lining of the cell wall inside the udder. Which is perfectly normal and does not pose a health risk (except if the source is sick or diseased). This white cells in milk is actually used as an indicator to gauge the quality and freshness of the milk, so its not just a regular occurrence, but it’s an occurrence that’s become an industry standard now. So, no need to worry about this.
Does Milk Matter For Your Body?
Yes, definitely. They don’t say drink milk to grow big and strong for nothing. Milk contains lactic acid, lactose and many other compounds that help the body grow more. What’s more, the presence of calcium and proteins in milk is imperative for a growing body, regardless of age, considering that the body needs a constant supply of protein and calcium to strengthen bones, teeth and other bodily parts like joints. The protein is also very beneficial for hair as well, so you could say it’s all around a very healthy and beneficial drink, milk.
So, the short answer would be that yes, milk does matter for your body, and drinking it regularly helps the body stay strong, and keep bones and teeth strong as well.
Alternatives and Substitutes of Milk
Many people are lactose-intolerant, which means that if they ingest or consume lactic acid or lactose or any of its derivatives, they can have trouble in their GI tract, to the point of diarrhoea. So, it would make sense for them to switch to an alternative for milk, which they find in soy milk, or many of the other plant-based milk types out there, like almond milk, soy milk etc. These are some of the alternatives and substitutes of milk for people who are lactose intolerant and cannot drink regular milk without fearing for their or the bathroom’s safety.
List of commonly asked questions about “Is Milk Acidic or Basic”
Q1. Can Milk Help Heartburn?
Not exactly, but chilled milk can help with the afterburning sensation that is left in the upper GI tract. Because even though its pH might be 6.9, it is still acidic, even slightly. And it does contain lactic acid, so it isn’t touted as much a heartburn remedy as others are, and there’s a good reason for that.
Q2. Are Dairy Foods Acidic?
Yes, a good majority of them are. Milk itself is slightly acidic, and curd or yoghurt is very acidic (owing to the presence of lactic acid and acidifying healthy bacteria in there), which goes on to show that the rest of dairy foods are also very acidic.