top of page

Why is milk white and not red, green or transparent?

Why is milk white and not red, green or transparent?

Milk is the first food every single one of us has, the most recommended liquid food by doctors and health officials, the liquid food that is capable of strengthening the defense system of our body's immune system, and so goes on the list of reasons why milk is an essential part of our daily life.

In one way or the other, milk I consumed by us at least once a day. Even if we hate milk, our peers force us to intake it at least once daily, right? Even though yo how milk tastes, its white look and smell, nothing will stop your parents or peers from making you drink it. There is a reason for that, and that is undoubtedly its unique nutritional qualities.

But have you ever wondered why milk is white and not some other color or transparent like water? If you haven't, you will be wondering g now and want to know why! Read on to find the answer to that and earn the reason what gives milk its white color or how it got it.

Milk is the mother of liquid foods.

Before going into why milk has the color it has, let us look at why milk has the importance it has. As we know, milk is a product of mammals, especially when they are pregnant or just give birth to offspring. Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals.

Milk is the primary nutrient source for every offspring before they can intake any solid food. So, it is like milk lays the foundation of nutrients and proteins in our body. Milk is also crucial to strengthening the immune system because colostrum contains antibodies.

Since it is the storehouse of abundant nutrients, proteins and lactose, human beings started consuming milk after infancy by extracting it from other mammals like cows or goats. This is how the demand for dairy milk and other dairy products is always high. It is said that Dairy farms produce thousands and millions of tonnes of milk annually. Studies also say that more than six bills completely n people consume milk and milk products. This is how important milk is for every household, and considering its high nutritional value, this is not surprising.

The white color of the milk

You must be now curious to discover why milk is white and not another color. If you think there is some hate pigment that gives milk its white color, then there is nothing of that sort. If you know what all constitutes in milk, then you can notice that none acts as a pigment-like role. Milk consists f water, sugar, fats, and several vitamins and minerals.

None of these components can act as a pigment. Thus, there comes the question of why milk has a color instead of being transparent. Chemistry is w, at that can give you an answer as to why milk has its white color.

Even though milk appears to be a simple white substance, it has a complex chemical nature. As mentioned earlier, milk comprises water, small amounts of fat, protein, minerals, vitamins, and other compounds.

Fatty acids like palmitic, oleic, stearic, and myristic acids can never mix with water; in milk, with these fatty acids, the fats and water together form an emulsion. Fat has a lower density than water, so the grease will never dissolve in water. Suppose you are new to what an emulsion is. In that case, it is defined as a fine dispersion of very minute droplets of one liquid over another in which the former liquid is not soluble, and fat is not soluble in water, and thus an emulsion forms.

Along with fat, several proteins are insoluble in water, thus making milk a suspension of different proteins and fats floating in the water. Proteins give milk its white color due to their long structure, chain-like molecules formed from smaller amino acid building blocks. A suspension develops when several particles are floating in a mixture without dissolving, which is the milk case. Casein is the primary type of protein in milk, and it clusters with calcium and phosphates.

Thus, in milk, these proteins together form structures called micelles. This formation grows from small clusters of calcium phosphate, which helps hold them together. These protein micelles are, on average, about 150 nanometres in diameter, and this tiny size gives them the ability to scatter light that hits them.

This scattering of light by the vast number of micelles in milk is why milk looks white. Yes! We could say that the color milk has an optical illusion and not because of any sort of pigmentation or coloring! Very interesting right? You might now wonder why you didn't know about such an exciting characteristic.


The color milk adapts thus for an exciting reason, unlike other products. The many scattered lights that enter the mixture give out the white light caused due to the scattering of light by colloidal particles in the emulsion, which is what gives the white color to the milk when most of you always believed that the color of milk was the result of some pigments.

The white color absorbs the other colors formed during the scattering, and thus, milk is white and not any different color or colorless. Our nature is wholly filled with many interesting facts like this, which can never fail to surprise us. Let us get out there and find the secrets of the world, which are waiting to unravel, like how we learned how milk got its white color.


Be the First to Expand Your
Intellectual Horizon!

bottom of page