Have you ever wondered why milk used to come in glass bottles? Maybe you hate the way a big, clunky plastic jug looks in your refrigerator and need a new milk storage solution. You've come to the right place. We've researched various materials for milk storage containers to help you find the best solution, and created this article to answer even more milk storage questions.
Glass bottles are the most efficient vessel to store milk. Storing your milk in glass can improve the taste, nutritional value, and longevity of your milk.
You are probably wondering if it would be worth it to switch to storing your milk in glass containers. There are some things to consider when making this decision. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of using glass bottles for milk.
Should Milk be Stored in Glass or Plastic?
Milk stored in glass bottles is healthier than milk stored in plastic bottles. Paper and plastic containers can leech contaminants into the milk that can affect the flavor and nutritional benefits of the milk. The chemicals used to make plastic and cardboard can also make it into your milk, and once consumed, into your body.
What Container Keeps Milk Fresh Longer?
Glass containers keep milk fresh longer than plastic or cardboard containers. Glass stays cold longer than plastic or cardboard, which helps to keep the milk cold and fresh longer.
Plastic and cardboard containers benefit from opacity, which blocks UV light from degrading the milk through the container. However, this isn't usually a huge problem since milk isn't left in the sun often.
The Dairy Shoppe Glass Milk Bottles
These larger milk bottles can fit a half-gallon of milk per bottle. Click here to see it on Amazon.
Are Plastic Milk Jugs Safe?
Yes, most plastics used for food storage, including milk jugs, are made using HDPE plastics. This type of plastic is considered safe for food contact by the FDA because it has a low chance of leaching chemicals into food. While the chances of leaching are low in HDPE plastics, most people would probably prefer to avoid risking any chance of consuming plastic chemicals, if possible.
Click here for the FDA's annex of approved plastics safe for food contact. For a more simplified list, click here.
Are Cardboard Milk Cartons Safe?
Cardboard milk cartons are lined with polyethylene to make them water-resistant. Polyethylene is another type of plastic that is considered safe for food contact by the FDA. This type of plastic also has a low possibility of leaching, but the possibility does exist.
The one positive aspect of cardboard cartons is their ability to block all light from their contents, preventing light degradation.
Does Milk Last Longer in a Carton or Plastic?
This depends on the opacity of the plastic used. Cardboard is completely opaque, so it blocks all light from contacting its contents. Plastic milk jugs can be slightly transparent, and if they let light in it will degrade the quality of the milk. An opaque plastic jug will keep milk just as fresh as an opaque cardboard carton.
Are Glass Milk Bottles Safe?
Glass is one of the few containers used today made from completely natural materials, like sand. Because glass is composed of completely natural materials, it does not contain any chemicals that could contaminate your food. Glass bottles can become dangerous if they are broken or dropped.
Other Advantages of Glass Milk Containers
In addition to being completely chemical-free, glass is one of the most sustainable packaging materials available today. It can be washed and reused, repurposed, or recycled, which means it is also a safer choice for the planet.
Glass pitchers like this are another great solution for storing milk. Click here to check this pitcher out on Amazon.
If you can't purchase milk in a glass bottle locally, you can still transfer milk from plastic or cardboard containers to a glass container. While it has already come in contact with the material, transferring it as soon as possible will reduce the length of exposure and help prevent leaching to a degree.
How to Store milk in a Glass Container
Start by purchasing your milk at the store; make sure you grab the milk last, so it isn't at room temperature too long. Once home, pour your milk into a glass bottle with a lid, use a funnel to prevent spills. Store the bottles in the fridge, and make sure to record the expiration date somewhere.
Milk Storage Containers for the Fridge
There are several great options for glass milk storage containers. You can purchase a traditional-style milk bottle, a jug-style container, or even use mason jars. Be sure to choose a container with an airtight lid, and check what materials are used to make the lid.
These glass milk bottles are cute and functional. Click here to check them out on Amazon.
How Long Does Milk In Glass Bottles Last?
Fresh milk sold or stored in glass bottles has been known to stay fresh twice as long as milk in plastic or cardboard containers. This does not change the expiration date of the milk, it means that the milk will taste fresh longer. Always dispose of milk once it reaches its expiration date.
Why Isn't milk Sold in Glass Bottles Anymore?
It is very hard to find milk sold in glass bottles today but there are a few dairies that still offer this nostalgic option. The cost to produce glass containers is greater than that of the inferior plastic and cardboard packaging options, which is the largest factor that leads to the decline of their use.
These glass mason jars would work great to store milk. Click here to check them out on Amazon.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Glass Milk Bottles?
Glass bottles do tend to be heavier than plastic or cardboard containers. Glass containers do need to be cleaned regularly to stay sanitary, so they do require a little more work to maintain than the disposable plastic and cardboard options.
They can also become hazardous if dropped or broken. UV light exposure can harm the contents of the container, but as long as you keep your milk in the fridge, this should not be an issue.
How to Sterilize a Glass Milk Bottle?
Glass is non-porous; therefore, it is fairly easy to clean. A regular wash and weekly sterilization should be all that is needed to keep your milk containers clean.
When choosing a container, pay attention to whether or not it is dishwasher safe, whether the opening is too narrow to handwash, and other small details related to cleanliness.
This sanitizing solution is a great commercial option for sanitizing glass drinkware. Click here to take a look on Amazon.
Can You Store Soy and Nut Milk in Glass Containers?
You can transfer any kind of milk to a glass container for improved taste, safety, and longevity. Achieve all the benefits of dairy milk by placing alternative milk options in glass containers. Even flavored milk like chocolate milk can experience improved taste when stored in glass.
Can You Store Breast Milk in Glass Bottles?
Glass bottles are an excellent option for breast milk storage. They will ensure that your baby receives the healthiest, most nutritious milk, free of contaminants. Many people choose to use mason jars to store their breast milk for later use.
Can Milk in a Glass Container be Frozen?
No, you should never freeze milk in a glass container. Milk, like most liquids, expands when it freezes, this can cause the container to crack under pressure. When freezing milk, make sure to use a freezer-safe container, and remember it is best to freeze milk in small batches.
Now that you know the differences between the types of milk packaging and storage methods, you can make an informed decision about what is best for you. Glass is definitely the best option for health and sustainability. Still, plastic and cardboard are less of a hassle. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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