Should You Shake Milk? (Yes And No)


Did you know that shaking milk and other drinks is a very popular activity, so it isn’t just you thinking or doing it? However, some drinks and liquids need to be shaken before consumption, whereas others don’t. In this article, you’ll learn whether milk needs to be shaken, among other fascinating things.

Generally, you don’t need to shake milk if it’s homogenized; however, you should if it’s not. Most milk in the grocery store is homogenized, meaning the milkfat is dispersed evenly throughout the milk. Raw milk should be shaken because it isn’t homogenized as its fat content will surface.

The only logical reason to shake milk before pouring is that the milkfat, called fat globules, hasn’t been broken down to smaller bits with homogenization.

If the globules aren’t broken down and mixed into milk’s composition properly, a creamy layer will appear at the top of the milk’s surface when it hasn’t been touched for a while. Thus, shaking it makes it mix momentarily.

The homogenization process is done by pumping milk through small openings with very high pressure, making the fat globules break. Also, the milk is heated to 149-158ºF (65-70°C), so there will be less tension between the fat globules, making them break more easily. Heating will decrease globule viscosity and clustering, further breaking the fat globules.

That said, there are other reasons why milk is shaken too. The most common reason milk is shaken when it’s homogenized history and habit. Homogenizing milk was invented in 1899, but it was introduced to consumers in the 1920s and beyond. The chances are that our great grandparents have instructed milk shaking, which has then become a habit and passed down to younger generations.

Another reason milk is shaken is that other drinks may need shaking, such as pulp juice, which becomes a habit, so all drinks are shaken. I’m a fan of oat milk that needs to be shaken, too, as does soy milk. This is why raw milk should be shaken to disperse the fat and layers properly.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what happens to milk if you shake it and whether it’s homogenized.

What Happens If You Shake Milk?

There are many rumors about shaking milk and what can happen to it. Some popular rumors include that the milk’s nutritional value decreases or becomes butter if you shake it long enough. Is there any truth to that? Let’s start with the obvious.

If you shake raw milk, its fat content is mixed through the liquid, making it more pleasant to drink. This doesn’t need to be done with homogenized milk as the fat content is already well mixed, which doesn’t cause the layering of raw milk.

What about damage. Does milk get damaged when it’s shaken instead of swirled?

Shaking milk doesen’t decrease its nutritional value, damage the protein molecules, or damage it in any way. This has been a myth for a long time for breast and cow’s milk, yet it isn’t backed by any scientific research, even when multiple studies have been made.

Another famous myth is that it transforms into butter or cheese if you shake milk long enough. Is this true?

You can’t shake homogenized milk into butter because the fat globules are broken too well. However, you can make butter from raw milk. To do this, chill the milk in a fridge for a few days and separate the risen fat layer from it. Then shake the fat layer to separate the fat from the milk further, ultimately creating butter.

When it comes to shaking milk into cheese, it’s impossible because, for cheese creation, you’ll need cultures and rennet in addition to the milk and a whole process. In short, the process will ripen the milk making it into curds, which can’t be done just by shaking it.

Why Does Milk Say Shake Well?

You probably have seen milk cartons that say shake well. Isn’t this odd as you don’t need to shake milk, at least the vast majority of them. Why do the milk cartons or glasses say to shake well?

If your milk says to shake well, its structural stability isn’t perfect, making milk fat and proteins fall out of the solution when untouched for extended periods. Shaking it well will mix the layers back into the solution.

This isn’t anything to worry about, as the milk’s structure separates for a reason.

This reason is usually that the milk is raw milk or non-homogenized for some other reason. As we have learned, homogenization breaks down the milk fat and other elements into one solution, making shaking unnecessary.

What Is Shaken Milk?

Shaken milk, better known as a milkshake or simply a shake, is a drink loved by many. However, as milk doesen’t need to be shaken, at least if it’s homogenized, what exactly is shaken milk, and how does it come to be?

Shaken milk, better known as milkshake, is a cold beverage made by blending milk, ice cream, and flavorings like vanilla, chocolate, berries, fruits, or syrups into a delicious drink.

A milkshake doesen’t require either homogenized or non-homogenized milk because its thick texture comes from the mixture between milk and ice cream. The milk itself doesen’t thicken up in the milkshake, but thick liquid consistency is created by a liquid (milk) and a very thick substance (ice cream).

Milkshakes won’t sit on the fridge or anywhere else either, as they are always made to enjoy right away, not later, as the texture and taste will decrease drastically when the ice cream melts.

Remember that you don’t need to shake regular homogenized milk, yet raw milk or non-homogenized milk should be shaken because it will layer the fat contents on the milk’s surface.

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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