Myth or Fact? #16 – Skin on heated milk is dangeroussteemCreated with Sketch.

in science •  3 years ago 


I was a young boy when my mother told me something that would haunt me for years. Before going to bed I loved to drink a glass of warm milk. Usually my mother prepared the milk for me but one day I wanted to do it on my own. I was 10 and had no idea how to cook (shame on me).

So what happened was that the milk cooked too long and a weird skin appeared on the top. Not knowing what happened I asked my mother and she told me to remove the skin since it’s bad and dangerous to me.

Years later I understand what happened back then. Do you? Is it true or false? A myth or fact? We will find out my friends!

What is milk?

Milk serves as the primary nourishment for infant mammals. It is an emulsion (colloidal dispersion) which consists of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, milk-fat and water (~87%). The greatest part of proteins in milk takes casein with almost 80%, the other 20% are referred to as whey proteins.
Further more we have some important carbohydrates such as glucose and lactose.

Did you ever wonder why a raw egg turns into a fried egg when heated? Or better say: why it turns from almost liquid into kinda solid? Let me tell you!

They solution lies within the proteins

Proteins are big molecules (polypeptides) which consists many amino acids. I personally love proteins! Big muscles and stuff...Okay, just kidding! But I really love proteins because they are so wonderfully build!

We have four different layers of structure for the proteins.

Fig.1 (from top) Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary protein structure Source

The first layer is the sequence of amino acids. They basically build a chain of amino acids. The so called primary structure.

The secondary structure of proteins are either alpha helix or the pleated sheet pattern (note that there are few other pattern we will not include here). The hydrogen bonding of the peptide backbone cause the above described pattern.

The tertiary protein structure is three-dimensional folding of the amio acid chain. This means that if you have a long chain of different secondary pattern, due to sidechain interactions they will put into a tertiary structured protein.

The last structure is the quaternary protein structure which consists of more than one amino acid chain.

As you can see proteins are very well structured and organized. What a pity that heat destroys this structure!


As described above our proteins have a complex structure. Heat is one of the main reasons why proteins denature. What happens is that the proteins losses its second and third structure. Imagine the heat as energy that let the molecule swing. The hotter it gets the more they move until they lose their structure. However the energy is not great enough to break the covalent bonds. This is the reason why proteins still keep their primary structure. Biologically the protein loses its function.

The below pictures depicts what happens with a protein when it denatures.

Fig.2 1. Protein in quaternary structure 2. Heat is applied 3. Protein in primary structure Source

So the skin on my milk is denatured proteins? Right! You can still drink your milk and it wont harm you. Everything is totally fine.
By the way: the skin appears because the denaturated proteins build threads that move upwards.

Until next time and Steem on!

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I find it funny. I would be more concerned if the milk would not have a 'skin' after heating it up. Great post @timsaid I hope more people read this!

lol! Now that would be definitely a concern.


Read and gained some knowledge, thanks tim

Myth or Fact #16 2.0

Is it dangerous? MYTH
Is it *eww*? FACT

thats funny.jpg

LOL! Excellent article again, from here on end, I'm following your work. Thanks a bunch for sharing such knowledge with us, it empowers us all. Namaste :)

Namaste Eric! Great to have your feedback

This is awesome! I always wondered what the heck was going on when I made hot chocolate, Not enough to actually do any work to figure it out but since you put it in front of me... thanks!

In order to prevent the emergence of the skin on the milk just stir it :) Thanks for the kind words!

Am I losing out on anything by just scraping it off before I put in the mix? I'm kind of a weirdo and find it interesting to see it attach to the spoon.

Yeah I'm a flat out weirdo.

This is exactly why I usually stir milk 1-2 times during the process of heating it. Never thought it was bad, just nasty.

Some proteins 💪

Thanks for that I now understand why people eat raw eggs, very informative 👍🏻

The skin will not hurt you (well, no less than any other over-cooked food). However, as it cools, it is possible that the skin later becomes a "barrier" and collects mould, whilst the fluid remains edible. This could be a reason why it was seen as unsafe. However, baked rice pudding (ugh!), with its skin, has never been seen as such a health hazzard as far as I am aware.

I didn't like the skin at all. Furthermore it can overcook the milk since the steam can't escape properly

My mom told me to just toughen up and drink the milk with the disgusting skin on top :D

I guess she did right. My mother just scared me lol

And she did the right thing. For children, there are many health benefits of consuming milk products, especially those prepared at home.

Actually no, cow milk is for cow babies not for humans. The industry has tried to make us believe that milk is good for bones, etc. but it is all false. The bioavailability of calcium in milk is very limited and actually there are concerns that it demineralise bones and one proof is that osteoporosis in more predominant on those countries with high milk consumption, like the US. Also milk is full of cows growth hormone which is far too strong for humans and can cause cancer. Furthermore milk is full of antibiotics and pus because the cows suffer from mastitis due to their excessive milk production after selected breeding or down right DNA modifications. Finally the industrial processing of milk (separation of each component and remixing plus heat treatment) denatures its proteins and destroy most vitamins. Humans should drink only human milk ideally up to 2 years old. Adults naturally lose their ability to produces lactasa which is the enzyme that processes lactose the sugar present in the milk, that's why so many people is "intolerant" to lactose, their not really intolerant, it is that adult humans are not prepared and are not meant to consume the lactose present in the milk of a mother from a different species.

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

"and one proof is that osteoporosis in more predominant on those countries with high milk consumption, like the US."
You mean lazy people from rich countries with poor diets. It is not proof at all. How balanced a diet is and the amount of exercise children get in their developing years, and later, is much more important.

I clearly stated, "for children".
Yes, dairy products can be unhealthy for adults. The same goes for other animal products. However, there is no doubt that animal products provide nutrition.

What a high rate of osteoporosis in countries with high consumption of milk proves is that consuming milk not only does not provide bioavailable calcium to our bones but in fact removes calcium from the bones. This is true for both adults and children.

Also the extremely potent growth homon present in cow's milk is not good for children and that has been agravated by the introduction of genetically modified growth hormon (rBGH) that is injected to cows every two weeks so they produce more milk. You can get additional information on
That's why I don 't drink cows milk and my doughter doesn't either.

I'm not vegan, I'm not against animal products, I consume them also, but not milk, processed foods or non-bio food loaded with poisons and genetically modified.

I live in Europe, so the milk here doesn't have injected hormones. Or at least I think it doesn't - it used to be banned. I remember the US complaining about it because they couldn't import their products. Maybe they do export to us now.

Even if the cows are not inyected with recombinant bobine growth hormone (rBGH) it still has "natural" BGH which is meant to make the calf to grow from 30kg to over 140kg in only 4 months. It is believed that BGH is not active in humans but this study sugest that there is a metabolic activity in humans of a fragment of BGH Metabolic Effects in Children of a 37 Amino Acid Fragment of Bovine Growth Hormone 1!. In other words, european milk cotains cows growth homones that are affecting our children, well not mine because I don't give her milk and gets all the calcium she needs from chickpeas, green leaf vegetables, brocolli and almonds.

You're not a vegan, by any chance? :)

No, I'm not, I don't think vegan is natural nor healthy for humans although I respect those that decide to go vegan as a philosophy of live. I eat meat, eggs, vegetables, seeds and fruits, unsaturated fats and everything bio and not processed to avoid pesticides, antibiotics and many other chemicals. I also try to reduce on grains and carbohidrates in general and I do intermitent fasting ;) great enery levels and brain awareness since I do it.

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

OK. I wasn't really being serious with that question. I would be vegetarian, If I could, but I don't like fruit and vegetables :)

(You do know that eggs are very bad for you unless you eat them almost raw?)

Yum Yum

Hello my friend

Thanks for this post and the wonderful post
I really liked what I wrote in this post
The selection of the post is so lovely
Happy day to you and always

Many talk about the benefits or harm milk! I love milk with tea :)

Here in india everyone drinks tea with milk.. Same with coffee..

I drink a lot of tea with milk. It's delicious. However I don't put any sugar into it

I also! I take honey from a spoon! Honey can not be put in hot tea! Also I like the cream from the milk most!

I am just a little frighten to eat my cold bowl or cereal now.

You can do it!

Congratulations @timsaid!
Your post was mentioned in my hit parade in the following categories:

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Excellent post Timsaid

Thank you stillsafe!

Great post! Now that I am a great grandmother it continues to amaze me when some of the things I just said in passing over the years became so indelible in young minds and how they refer to them in their grownup lives.
Surely is sobering to me!

Thanks for the feedback! I remember a lot from my childhood. Luckily I know most things better now lol

Ok my question is are the denatured proteins more or less digestible than unheated proteins? Personally heated milk does bad thing in my digestion tract.

Since their biochemical function is affected they surely have an impact. But what kind of difference it does to your digestion is unknown to me

that reminds me i need to but milk

Now I will be able to sleep SO MUCH BETTER at night.

Now I feel good doing something good!

i just love milk and since i was a kid, i drank 2 big glasses of warm milk till today doing the same. infact if im hungry, i still drink milk with whey Recently iv been reading online that after a certain age, one should not drink milk and too much milk can also cause cancer or calcium deposits. Personally i know many people in villages who drink milk much more then me and still nothing happened to them, but here in cities iv seen some blaming milk for causing cancer. I guess its cause of injecting some chemicals and hormonal stuff into cows can be the actual cause. The dairy industry is no longer safe. So i guess we need to find ways to get pure natural organic milk.

Im alergic to soya, or would have surely become a vegan. Another reason is my bodytype, i loose tremendous weight if i stop drinking milk or avoid milk products.

I hear from many sources that milk is only for infants. Since they can't digest the food they need to drink. I personally love milk, but don't drink much

True, iv heard same stuff. But problem with me is if i stop milk i loose alot of weight. Dont know the real reason, as even docs couldn't fig out the real reason.

very nice...thanks for sharing

Great article. I assume it also may depend on how it is cooked or heated. Natural heat verses radiation microwave. LOL. I love milk however man probably has destroyed that too. Too much tampering of God's food by man. Folks don't get enough vitamin D but I can drink milk like water and use it at bedtime in place of alcohol to help me fall asleep. Again thanks.

As long as you enjoy drinking milk it's fine.

Thank you!

Gender pronoun assumptions aside:

Consider it your daily dose of science! :)

Great segment btw, following for more!

The change is amazing after the milk has been heated.
I was wondering. Thank you. I resolved the question.
100% voting to you

Myth is funny

Thanks, I needed to know that and you posted it so well @timsaid

I hope you will like the next episode too!

Nice post dude! Our daily life is surrounded by myths.. no matter different culture or country.. . We are simply living with these myths and we hardly dig into it!!! Its good that you crack one ☺

I totally agree with. It doesn't matter where we come from. We all are Steemians

Yes! Steemians.. already upvoted and Resteemed.. Hope to see new crack of myth soon!!!

You can count on me!

Good.. ☺ your profile name also says so.. Tim said!

You are not the first person to say that. I start to enjoy that lol

Enjoy leads to Happiness and Happiness is a state of mind where a person can create more Happiness.. by making others Happy!☺

lol i never heard of this before :D

Vielleicht liegt es an mir :)

wohl kaum ;D

I just had a big cup of Milk warmed up with Organic Chocolate and Marshmallows and I did not feel I was endangered in the least, in fact it was very TASTY...........


Today I learned something new 😅👌🏼

haha first time i heard that rumour! the stuff some people are led to believe... Nice job to show putting those false alarms to rest.

Man I was a child and believed everything :')

My old brazilian girlfriend used to make me hot milk with honey before bed and it would help for a good nights sleep. It definitely has some qualities that make you feel tranquil. Feel free to give it a try!

I can confirm! I really love milk with honey. I recommend to put some cinnamon to it as well

Now that is a great idea. Cinnamon makes everything better. I will have to try that tonight :) Cheers

Jesus you gave me a shock there for a second. I always eat the skin.

I'm sorry condra! You like the skin?

I don't dislike it. I eat it because if I don't, it sticks to the cup and is a PITA to wash!

Muito bom o artigo, parabens

It would surely be called a myth in India. Here we are encouraged to consume that skin, if we want to become strong. ;)



So basically what im getting is you burnt it when you were 10?

Amazing interesting.
Excellent article, greak work.!

A very informative post. I always wondered :)

Very informative and in-depth analysis

very interesting, thanks for sharing.

So your mom was basically making you throw out protein :/

Sad story, isn't it?

I totally misread the title of this post and thought: how could warm milk irritate my skin?

Boiling milk surely could do!

I don't want to know much about chemistry (at least for the above topic )and even you won't care after reading what I have to say. I am from India and Ayurveda has the answer to many questions which in some cases modern medicine is still looking for.

So if it were harmful then some of our ancestors would have easily pointed it out. But i don't want this to be a debate, on a lighter note if somebody stops eating that skin,thinking its harmful then that person can be one of the biggest losers provided if he/she is born in Kolkata (Calcutta) India or may be if he/she is aware of Kolkata.
In case you are unaware then a short intro might help. Kolkata is located in West Bengal a state in India and the local people (Bengali people) speak a language called Bengali (Its the sweetest language of the world ).

As I said the sweetest language, it also reflects on their food habits. These people are crazy for sweets which are mostly made out of milk and the milk skin is the most important ingredient in this case. These people make some killer deserts which are world renowned. So let's come back to the point ,that is if you have tasted or still crave for Bengali deserts and the doctor comes to you and say that over boiling the milk can cause cancer , you will turn a deaf ear for sure.
So let's wrap it up.I myself being a Bengali can any day discard or don't give a shit about the scientific reason or the dangers if any if it comes in between us and our sweets.
Any way to the reader if you are unaware of Bengali sweet meats or deserts then at least once in you lifetime pay a visit to Kolkata (India) and btw we also cook killer food (fish meat anything you say).
Let me know if you want me to write a blog post about Bengali food and deserts. Thanks everbody and @timsaid.

Thanks for your answer! This was only a myth and milk/the skin on heated milk doesn't harm you. You can eat it without any problems.

I want to try some Bengali food now!

Yeah!! that was my main motive for the comment to introduce others to Bengali food. Cheers!!!

I had always liked the skin on the milk... when I was kid I used to compete with my cousin who would get more, but my grandma will always part it equally... absolutely nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

The more you know...

You never can know enough though

I've actually never heard of this

I love milk especially that egg thing. :)

Awesome post!
I used to ask my mom like " Mom... I hate this skin layer formed on the top of the milk.I hate it! Do i really need to drink along with the skin layer" and she replies "Yes, you will be avoiding calories nutrition if you don't consume the top layer of fat that settles after the milk is boiled. So drink it and grow healthy with more calcium!" Is it been a myth,I wonder?!!!
Good one though!
I am hereby following you for more posts!
Please follow me as well!

Thanks for following! I hope you grew healthy and strong

Hope i grewup healthy :)
Pls follow me as well as upvote my posts if you like them!

I really like this post, followed

I have to apologize that I disagree with the payout. Only voting by principles.

I removed flag, enjoy lottery winnings.

Whew. I got worried there for a sec! Linked this to my last post! Thanks!

Yeah I saw that many people got quite a shock :D It's all cool.
Thanks for mentioning it!

Milk and its products is very useful especially for children

what about condensed milk ? it goes hard is it still okay to use ?

Thanks for the info, at least now i know how to answer my children if someday they will ask me about the appearance of the skin. hehehehh

Sum random info - I boil the milk before I scramble my eggs, seems to make them fluffier, great post tim, thanks for doing the looking in to it :)

I appreciate :)

An interesting article. Never thought so much behind milk fat.

Learn something new everyday! Thanks!

shouldn't be a problem right ? i never heard it before.

Some myths are popular, some are not. I bet you know few I never heard before? :)

I don't get it how it's disgusting. Its just the fat and protein. And it tastes good.

Amazing how things from our childhood stick with us. Thanks for the interesting post. My mom would always remove the skin too.

love your posts.
keep them coming.

Please check my postings out and follow me if you like
I have had a magical life and travelling experiences.

wow. that is an incredible post. Honestly, I never knew that. It's funny how far science has come since years ago. I bet there is a lot of people that wish hey knew the things they know now back in their days huh? It's almost a miracle/wonder how we've come this far in information and technology in just a short time span having all of this information at our fingertips. However we just need to know how to use it and access it. I wish I knew this when I was a kid. I drank a cup of hot milk every night. I guess it is just a mom thing to do with her kid's. But great post. Very interesting. I like it.

In my opinion, the"skin" on the milk does not kill anyone when ingested. It is just slimy and "yuck" to taste and I always get that whenever I won't drink it right away or if it sits there for a long time. Thank you for sharing