Milk vs Buttermilk: Difference and Comparison

When it comes to kitchen cooking and fermenting stuff, people get easily confused between differentiating food items and beverages because of their same colour and appearance sometimes.

Just like that, there is one combo in which people get confused: Milk and Buttermilk.

Key Takeaways

  1. Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals, while Buttermilk is a slightly sour, acidic liquid left over after churning butter from cream.
  2. Milk is used as a primary source of nutrition and is consumed naturally, while Buttermilk is used as an ingredient in cooking and baking or as a drink.
  3. The main difference between Milk and Buttermilk is that Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. In contrast, Buttermilk is a slightly sour, acidic liquid left over after churning butter from cream.

Milk vs Buttermilk

The difference between Milk and Buttermilk is Milk is produced by the mammary glands of animals like goats, buffalos, and cows, and Buttermilk is produced by fermenting. Milk usually, Buttermilk is sour, whereas Milk has no subtle taste. Milk and Buttermilk are of the same colour and appearance, which is a white colour and thin textured beverage, which is why people get confused. 

Milk vs Buttermilk

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMilkButtermilk
TasteThere is no subtle taste of Milk.The taste of Buttermilk is sour.
ColourThe colour of the Milk is white.The colour of Buttermilk is pale yellow or white.
IngredientsMilk has no ingredients added to it.Butter is added to Buttermilk.
FatMilk contains more fat compared to Buttermilk.Buttermilk has less fat compared to Milk.
ProducerMilk is produced from any animal mammary gland.Buttermilk is only produced out of cow’s Milk.
TextureMilk is opaque and less thick in texture compared to Buttermilk.Buttermilk is thicker in texture compared to Milk.
Used inMilk is used in the making of cake, cookies, bread, butter, soups, sauce, chocolate, ice creams, yoghurt, etc.Buttermilk is used to make pancakes, biscuits, cornbread, etc.

What is Milk?

Milk is full of nutrients produced by the mammary glands of animals like goats, cows, buffalos, etc.

Milk works as a primary source of food in infants. Milk is known for its nutrients like calcium, protein, lactose, etc.

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The average pH level of Milk is 6.4 to 6.8, which is kept on changing from time to time.

Milk contains potassium, calcium, phosphate, sodium, citrate, and chloride, which are known as minerals, and Milk can be called the Full Package of minerals.

Milk is known as a Full Package of Vitamins since it contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Biotins, etc.

Types of Milk are –

  1. Almond Milk: This Milk has a nutty taste and contains Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Selenium.
  2. Whole Milk: Usually, this Milk refers to full cream Milk.
  3. Skim Milk: This Milk has fewer calories compared to whole Milk.
  4. Oat Milk: This Milk is full of beta-glucans and soluble fibre.
  5. Low Fat Milk: This Milk is less in fat.
  6. Soy Milk: This Milk is made out of Soy.
  7. Coconut Milk: This Milk is made out of Coconuts.

The benefits of Milk are –

  1. Drinking Milk daily can reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Cold Milk can help you soothe the problem of Acidity.
  3. Conjugated Linoleic Acid is present in Milk which triggers weight loss in the human body.
  4. The Central Nervous System of the Human Body is protected by Vitaminb12 which is present in a huge amount of Milk.
  5. To keep skin healthy, we need Vitamin A, which is present in Milk.

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is observed when fat is deducted from the Milk for making butter.

Buttermilk has fewer calories than Milk but has a high quantity of calcium, potassium, and Vitamin B12. Buttermilk also works as a cooling agent for human beings in warm climates.

Usually, Buttermilk is used in cooking, but it can also be consumed directly.

People prefer Buttermilk which is refrigerated, whereas some people drink it at average room temperature since it is a cooling agent and it is unnecessary to refrigerate it every time.

For the marination of porks and chicken, Buttermilk is used because of lactic acid, which promotes the tendering process and enhances the flavours with retaining moisturizer.

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Usually, traditional Buttermilk is preferred compared to acidic and cultured Buttermilk. Traditional Buttermilk is made by the homogenization process, where Milk is kept just like that for a while to separate Milk and cream.

And naturally, it is fermented because of the occurrence of bacteria that produces lactic acid.

Traditional Buttermilk is observed less in the West and more in Asian Countries like India, Nepal, and Arab.

Indian people have a name for Buttermilk which is Chaas; Nepali people have a name for Buttermilk which is Mohi and Arab people call Buttermilk by the name of Leben.

Buttermilk is common for Indians and Nepalis, but Lemen in Arab is consumed during Ramadan during Suhur and Iftaar.

Types of Buttermilk are-

  1. Acidic Buttermilk
  2. Cultured Buttermilk
  3. Traditional Buttermilk

The benefits of Buttermilk are –

  1. Drinking Buttermilk is considered a coolant agent for the human body.
  2. Buttermilk prevents dehydration in the human body.
  3. Buttermilk is considered to be a good friend for the digestive system of a human being.
  4. Buttermilk is an excellent source of Calcium which makes bones and teeth stronger.
  5. Cholesterol levels can be maintained by drinking Buttermilk.
  6. Buttermilk consists of Potassium which helps reduce high blood pressure.
  7. Buttermilk is full of vitamins, is good for the skin, and helps lose weight.

Main Differences Between Milk and Buttermilk

  1. Milk is produced through the mammary glands of animals; Buttermilk is made out of fermented Milk.
  2. Milk has no subtle taste; Buttermilk has a sour taste.
  3. Milk is a white colour; Buttermilk has a pale yellow or whitish colour.
  4. Milk has cream; Buttermilk has no cream.
  5. No ingredients are added to Milk; Butter is added to Buttermilk.
Difference Between Milk and Buttermilk

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Milk vs Buttermilk: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article provides a clear and objective comparison of milk and buttermilk. It’s a great resource for anyone seeking clarification.

  2. The palette of information in this article is quite enriching. It’s a wonderful read for anyone interested in food science.

  3. I appreciate the extensive explanation of the different types of milk and buttermilk. It adds depth to the overall discussion.

  4. The article lacks depth and complexity, and the tone is somewhat dry. There’s more to milk and buttermilk than just their physical properties.

    • It’s important to keep in mind that this is an introductory article. It serves its purpose by giving an accessible overview.

  5. The beneficial properties of milk and buttermilk are well outlined here. It’s important to acknowledge their impact on human health.

  6. This is a really informative and interesting article. It’s amazing to see the differences between products that are so similar.

  7. I disagree. I don’t think this information is useful in everyday life. There are more important things to worry about than distinguishing milk and buttermilk.


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