How Is 2 Percent Milk Made? Here’s The Truth

2 percent milk is a type of milk that has a 2%milkfat composition of the total weight.

Asides from whole milk, 2 percent milk is one of the common types of milk you’re likely to see on the shelves in stores. The 2% title doesn’t make the milk less nutritious than whole milk.

This fat reduction in milk is made to suit people and their personal preferences. Although fat reduction affects the amount of fat and the number of calories in the milk, it does not make it less milk.

The best way to understand 2 percent milk is to know how it is made. This article has a detailed description of how 2 percent milk is made and a comparison with other types of milk.

What is 2 percent milk?

2 percent milk is reduced-fat milk that contains 2% milkfat of the entire weight.

For instance, the total weight of a cup of milk (8 ounces) contains 5 grams of fat and not 2% fat. This amount of fat will vary with the total weight of a given amount of milk.

Nonetheless, 2 percent milk still contains the same nutrients as every other type of milk. However, it has more calcium and vitamin A than whole milk.

How is 2 percent milk made?

When making reduced-fat milk, the producers first remove the cream and then add it again according to how much milkfat should be in the milk.

For 2 percent milk, the dairy producer gradually adds in the skimmed-off cream until it is 2% of the total weight of the milk.

Contrary to popular belief, 2 percent milk is not made by adding water to whole milk. While adding water can reduce the fat content, it’ll make the milk thin, watery, and bland.

Instead of using this method and short-changing yourself, use any of these methods to make this milk at home:

1. Use skim milk and whole milk

Add two parts of skim milk to one part of whole milk to make 2 percent milk.

2 percent milk has a 2% fat composition while skim milk has about 0.5% fat. Adding two parts of the latter to whole milk can raise the fat composition to 2%.

2. Boil non-homogenized milk

  • Boil non-homogenized milk in a wide saucepan for up to 8 minutes
  • Thereafter, leave it to simmer for 10 more minutes until the top is clear
  • Afterward, remove it from heat and allow the milk to cool before you transfer it into a clean container
  • While it cools, the cream will separate from the milk. Scoop off the cream from the top with a spoon
  • Put the milk in the refrigerator to cool for another 8 hours. More cream will separate during this time
  • When you take out the cooled milk from the refrigerator, scoop the cream on top again
  • With this much cream out of the milk, your milk now has just a 2% milkfat composition

Can you make 2 percent milk from whole milk?

Yes, you can.

An easy way to make 2 percent milk at home is to add skim milk to whole milk. This way, the milk contains less fat but is still nutritious. You can use this milk to bake, cook and make desserts such as custard and rice pudding.

Why are there different percentages of milk?

The different milkfat percentages show how much milkfat is in the milk. It describes the amount of milkfat by weight.

Below are the different milk percentages:

  • Whole milk is full-fat milk with 3.5% milkfat (8g per 8-ounce serving) and 150 calories
  • Reduced-fat milk contains 2% milkfat (5g per 8-ounce serving) and 120 calories
  • Low-fat milk contains 1% milkfat (2.5g per 8-ounce serving) and 100 calories
  • Non-fat or skim milk contains 0.3% to 0.5% milkfat and 80 calories

2% milk vs whole milk

Let’s start with the fat composition. Reduced-fat milk has 2% milkfat in the total weight of the milk while whole milk has 3.5%.

Moving on to the physical appearance, you’ll notice that whole milk or full-fat milk is thicker and creamier while reduced-fat milk is thin, watery, and less creamy.

In addition, whole milk tastes better than the bland, watered-down taste of reduced-fat milk.

If you ask kids to make a choice, they’ll most certainly go for whole milk unless they’ve never tasted it. Also, whole milk has more calories than reduced-fat milk.

2% milk vs 1% milk

2% milk has lower fat content than 1% milk. It is a less healthy choice if you want to control your fat intake.

Comparing the taste profiles, reduced-fat milk is a better option because low-fat is thinner, less creamy, and blander. But it contains just as many nutrients as any other milk does.

Furthermore, 1% milk can be given to infants between the ages of 2 & 5 if you’re making a switch from whole or reduced-fat milk.

While infants may not mind drinking this milk, many adults would rather not have it even though it is a healthier option for them.

2% milk vs non-fat milk

Non-fat milk is skim milk and contains almost no fat. It is sometimes referred to as fat-free milk. In comparison, skim milk is a healthier choice than reduced-fat milk because of its low fat and calorie content.

However, not everyone finds the taste and mouthfeel of skim milk palatable. Regardless of the difference in fat content, both types of milk are equally nutritious.

Is 2 percent milk healthy?

2% milk can be a healthy choice if you’re on a low-calorie diet. It has fewer calories when compared to whole milk, but it is higher in vitamins (which come from fortification). However, it may not be the best option for children.

Research showed that children who were raised on whole milk have a comparable lower risk of being obese, unlike children who were raised on reduced-fat milk.

Additionally, full-fat milk improves digestion better than reduced-fat milk.

Pros of 2 percent milk

  • This milk has less fat and cholesterol
  • 2% milk has more calcium which makes it better for bone health and tissue growth
  • It can help boost immunity

Cons of 2 percent milk

  • Reduced-fat milk has more lactose than the full-fat varieties
  • Drinking 2 percent milk puts you at risk of obesity and heart disease


Is whole milk better than 2% milk?

Based on the nutritional value, there isn’t much difference except for the fat reduction in 2% milk. Therefore, 2% milk is a better choice than whole milk if you want to reduce your fat intake.

In terms of taste, whole milk tastes sweeter than 2% milk. Whole milk has a rich, creamy taste, whereas 2 percent milk has a watered-down taste.

Is 2% milk low-sugar?

The sugar content in reduced-fat milk is the same as that of whole milk. There are 12 grams of milk sugar in one cup of milk – regular fat or reduced fat.

Is 2% milk lactose-free?

Not all 2% milk is lactose-free.

There are both full-fat and reduced-fat varieties of lactose-free milk. When buying milk, read the labels to be sure that it is lactose-free if you’re lactose intolerant.

Who should not drink 2% milk?

People who need to lower their intake of saturated fat may have to stay off 2 percent milk. For such people, 1% or non-fat milk is a better and healthier option.

Why is fat removed from milk?

Fat is removed from milk to suit people looking to reduce their fat and calorie intake. The different milk percentages work for different dietary needs.


One of the misconceptions about reduced-fat milk is that the number represents how much fat remains. However, it doesn’t. 2% milk is a type of milk with a 2% milkfat composition by the total weight.

That is, it does not mean every volume of 2% milk contains 2% fat. Instead, the fat composition is based on the total weight of a given amount of milk.

If you run out of store-bought 2 percent milk, you can make reduced-fat milk at home by following the steps in the article.

Thanks for reading.

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