Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO), a U.S. organization government by the USDA, categorizes milk into four classes on the basis of its price, vale and the products obtained from it. Each class is used to derive different products. Class I milk is the milk used for the manufacturing of beverages or liquid milk; among all classes, this is the cheapest class by value. Class II milk is used in the manufacturing of soft products such as cheese, ice-cream, sour cream and yoghurt; this class is a tad more expensive than class I. Class III milk is used in the manufacturing of hard cheeses and is more expensive than class I & II milk. The milk used in industries for the production of nonfat dry milk or NFDM and butter is known as class IV milk and this class is priced higher than the rest.
Class IV milk is used to make butter, butter spread, and dry dairy products in primary and secondary food processing industries. In the primary food processing industry, class IV milk is dried to make dry milk products such as whole dry milk and non-fat dry milk. These products can be further used in making different food products such as dietary supplements. Class IV milk is also used to make butter and butter spreads, which can be used in different processed foods and staple foods.
Some of the topmost producers and suppliers of class IV milk include DAIRY FARMERS OF AMERICA, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd., Fonterra Co-operative Group, Vinamilk, Nestle S.A., NOW Foods, Groupe Lactalis S.A., Danone SA, Mudanjiang City farm, and Parag Milk Foods. More Industrialists and food manufacturers are showing a keen interest in the class IV milk as the demand for the products which comes under class IV milk products are escalating every year globally.
- Most of the producers for class IV milk are from Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America.
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The growth of the food industry has been leading to an upsurge in the demand for class IV milk. Some class IV milk products are butter, spreads, and dry milks and dry dairy products. These products are used in various cuisines across various regions as flavor enhancing agents. Further, the growth of bakery and confectionery industries is expected to boost the demand for class IV milk as butter and butter spread are widely used in the baking of cookies and cakes. Also, urbanization and rising per capita income have changed consumer food preferences, which has been positively influencing the demand for class IV milk as class IV milk products are used in the manufacturing of various snacks and staple foods. Class IV milk is also used in the manufacturing of non-fat dairy milk, which is widely used in the food industry as its shelf life is much longer than that of regular liquid milk. Non-fat dairy milk is also used in the manufacturing of dietary supplements, which has been creating additional demand for class IV milk.
The consumption of class IV milk is high in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, due to the steady growth of dairy and food industries in these regions. The production of class IV milk is high in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and some part of Latin America such as Brazil due to the high number of dairy farms.