Off-tasting milk

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Left Turn Left Turn's picture
Off-tasting milk

I've been experiencing an "off" taste to some milk since 2009. Not a sour taste per say, but more of a plastic, chemical kind of taste. It seems to go in cycles, being fine for a few months and then being "off" again for several jugs in a row. This month, I've had four jugs in a row that have been "off", and have wound up having to dump about 3/4 of each jug. The taste is tolerable at first, then increases in intensity such that within 24 to 48 hours it is undrinkable.

I live in the Greater Vancouver area, and I buy whole milk in four litre plastic jugs. I've bought milk from Lucerne (Safeway), Dairyland (Buy Low Foods), and Foremost (Superstore). The Dairyland milk has been consistently "off" since spring 2010, and I have stopped buying it. The "off" taste is consistent in the Foremost milk, but not as bad as the others. The problem is intermittent in the Lucerne milk, but is worse than the other milk when it is present.

Usually I buy the Lucerne milk, given that the problem is intermittent. The "off" taste is not tolerable in the Dairyland, and I buy the Foremost only occasionally because I don't like shopping at Superstore.

Cereal usually masks the "off" taste; and the "off" taste is tolerable in hot chocolate for about 24 to 48 hours after I buy the milk, and in cold chocolate milk for about 12 to 24 hours. It is not tolerable at all in a plain glass of cold milk.

I found the following discussion of this issue:


[url=]Random Observations: Is Milk's Taste Changing?[/url]


Wondering if any other babblers have had a similar experience with "off" milk and/or if anyone has any suggestions on what to do or ideas as to what might be the cause of this "off" taste.

Papal Bull

i developed severe lactose intolerance over the past 2 years and your foolish lactoppressive issues hold no sway over my ideologically pure tastebudz.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The only milk I can drink is called 'Grand Pre' 1% and 2% and is produced here in Quebec, and it comes in a container that can be stored for six months before using. Once opened, though, the shelf life in the fridge is the same as any other container of milk. But it does NOT have a plastic taste.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The worse tasting milk I ever had was from a plastic bag - probably because once you cut it open at the top corner, it usually wasn't resealed. I'm close to 62, and I've NEVER brought milk in plastic bags - the only time I drank milk from plastic bags was when I was visiting someone else who served it up.


Left Turn

Have you given the milk to someone else to confirm the taste test? From what you describe, perhaps it is something in your nose or throat. As well, do you notice a difference between low-fat and homogenized milk, or plastic, glass and cardboard cartons?



Have to admit I haven't noticed it in years but as a kid I remember the taste of milk changed with the seasons.  When they were fed sileage it tasted one way and when they went out to pasture in the summer it tasted quite different.  But during the changeover it tasted like crud.

I suspect that I haven't noticed the change as much simply because milk cows aren't allowed much free range time nowadays.


I think last summer someone remarked on how their milk tasted different.  It may well be the feed, but it might also have something to do with temperature.  I know milk is refrigerated, but you know it's going to be kept colder in winter during transit from the plant to your home as compared to summer.

It would be hard to separate out all the factors.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I drink Avalon milk and have had no complaints--I never touch Dairyland because I've seen their farms. I am also a country rube, so I have no taste.


I imagine there are a lot of rubes with no taste.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I bought a two-litre carton of whole Dairyland milk. Smells fine in the carton, unlike in the four-litre jugs, where the milk usually smells worse in the jug than out. Mixed up a glass of chocolate milk and drank it. Definitely has a "cooked" taste, what I would expect from hot chocolate that has gone cold.

I'm wondering if the large dairy companies have changed their pasturization method, heating the milk to a higher temperature for a shorter length of time, which would give it a "cooked" taste. Makes me wonder if the Harper gov't slashed some milk pasturization regulation a while back that used to prevent this.


Do you have access to organic milk?  I find the organic milk is tastier, especially if you buy it in those returnable glass bottles.

Following what 6079_Smith said, there are some medications that can affect how you taste things.