Milk is a perfect drink for school kids as it gives them lots of the nutrients that they need to stay alert. However, there are still some challenges when it comes to distributing school milk – and also solutions.
Producing milk that kids like, and shipping it to schools, can be complicated. And depending on where in the world you operate, the reasons for this might vary. Fortunately, UHT processed milk helps you overcome many of them.
When distributing pasteurized milk to schools, commonly called chilled milk, every step of the distribution chain must be refrigerated, while the short expiration date means that the milk must be consumed rather immediately, usually within a week. This leads to two problems: the need for frequent, energy-intensive deliveries and milk not consumed in time going to waste.
With no need for refrigeration and a shelf life of up to six months, UHT milk solves both problems. It is easier to plan transportation, and in case of any disruption, the milk does not spoil. Once at schools, this long life milk product can then be conveniently stored at room temperature until it is time to drink. So, UHT milk makes it easier to give kids in all schools, from those in the city centre to rural communities, access to safe and nutritious milk.
In some parts of the world, it is more common to be lactose intolerant than not, and that is something that goes for the youngest too. Some even experience symptoms long before being diagnosed. As a result, they may avoid milk and lose out on its benefits, which makes switching production to lactose-free milk critical in some regions.
If you have, or plan to set up, a UHT processing line, producing lactose-free alternatives is easy – much more so than with other milk. You simply add one step to production, aseptic dosing of lactase, to break down the lactose as the milk is leaving for retailers. This means no hold-up in production, which could be the case with other milk. But there is another reason why UHT lactose free milk is perfect in schools – the taste.
Naturally, if kids are to enjoy the benefits of milk, they should want to drink it. That is why some schools, particularly in the US, choose flavoured milk. But such milk often contains added sugar, which has stirred debate among parents – is sugar a necessary evil to get kids to drink more milk?
The good news is that with UHT lactose free milk, it is not. As a result of the lactase breaking down the lactose, the milk naturally gets a somewhat sweeter taste. That goes particularly well with flavoured milk, as when these characteristics are coupled with a chocolate or strawberry flavouring, you tick all the boxes of what kids love – without sugar.
The integrated edge