Milk solids are small, dairy-derived food particles that contain lactose, caseins, whey proteins and trace minerals (also called ash content) of the products from which they were derived. Milk solids are added to many types of foods to create a uniform texture and sometimes enhance taste. These solids are derived from milk, cheeses, yogurt and other lactose-containing food items, and they are further processed in refineries and manufacturing facilities.
Milk solids are inexpensive and easy to produce, which makes them popular ingredients and additives for dairy products, such as ice cream.
Milk solids have a mild taste and a dense, spongy texture, which makes them ideal for fortifying products. In ice cream, for instance, these solids improve texture, thanks to their proteins, and provide a chewy resistance to the end product.
Solids also eliminate the separation of water and solids that makes some dairy products, like milk, cottage cheese and yogurt, unappealing to consumers. Milk solids have relatively high protein contents; this trait, combined with the cheap cost of production, makes milk solids popular additives to protein powders and shakes, such as whey protein. The solids also increase shelf life and may be added to products to ensure they freeze at the proper temperature.