Lets understand the Milk labels in Japan

We can see a long line of various milk and milk products in the racks of supermarkets of Japan. They may greatly vary in price and the labels of each will be different. Have you ever thought about the difference between these milk packets?

Milk in Japanese is Gyunyu(牛乳). You can see the word 牛乳 in every milk packets.

Pure milk

i. 成分無調整 or 牛乳:It is the pure milk or the whole milk. Even without reading the labels you can spot these milk packets. You may see a semicircular dent on the upper part of the milk packet. There are packets without this mark also.

ii. 3.6/3.8 牛乳: 3.6,3.7,3.8 etc could be seen written on some of the milk cartons. This is the percentage of milk fat contained in it. The sales law of Japan ensures the milk fat content in milk to determine its market value which should be greater than 3.5% for better price.

iii.低温殺菌牛乳(Pasteurized milk): This is the pasteurized milk without any adjustment made in its ingredients.Heat sterilization process is carried out in this milk so that further heating is not at all needed.

Pasteurized milk

成分調整牛乳: Componentーadjusted milk

  1. 低脂肪牛乳(low-fat milk): The milk fat content in this milk will be 0.5 to 1.5%. These are component adjusted milk from which only the milk fat is removed to adjust it to this particular value.
  2. 無脂肪牛乳(nonfat milk): This is also component adjusted milk in which only the milk fat is adjusted to less than 0.5%.

The dairy products like fresh cream are made from this removed fat. So the price of these kinds of milk will be comparatively less than the whole milk.

We may see the writing 生乳100%使用 on these milk cartons which means ‘only raw milk is used’. The milk from cows is used in these packets without any type of treatments.

加工乳: processed milk

These are artificial milk made by mixing butter, skimmed milk etc. It has no raw milk content obtained from the animals.

乳飲料Milk drinks

These are beverages in which ingredients other than milk is added. These are available in various forms like Ca and iron(Ca鉄/ カルシウム/鉄) fortified milk(Ca鉄/ カルシウム/鉄), vitamin D(ビタミンD) fortified milk, fruit milk(フルーツミルク), coffee(コーヒー) etc. fall under this category.

Hokkaido is Japan’s number one milk-producing placed of Japan. All the branded milk products are Hokkaido origin. We can see the name ‘北海道’ on these products. Meiji, Morinaga, etc. are some of the dominant milk companies of Japan. Some companies are delivering milk at home according to the requirements. Milk drinks and other milk products should also be delivered home every day.