What Does “Milk Solids” Stand for on a Label?

Milk Powder

Have you ever looked on a label and seen the term “milk solids” and wondered what it meant? And if whatever it meant was relevant for something that you might personally have interest in? This post is designed to succinctly answer that.

What are Milk Solids?

Milk itself is made up of water (87%) and nutrients (fat, protein, sugar in the form of lactose, and minerals). The 13% that is not made from water is what would be considered milk solids.

Milk Solids Flow Chart

When reading a food label, milk solids refers to the powder that would be left after milk is dried out and the water is removed.

If you were to buy milk powder from the shops, this would be pretty much like buying “milk solids” in powder form.

Interpretations of Milk Solids

Milk solids can be a relatively broad term. It does not necessarily just mean full cream milk solids. It can be either full cream or skim milk solids.

Another beneficial definition to be aware of is that milk solids may be used to describe milk powder, skim milk powder, dried milk products AND any two or more of the following ingredients: whey, whey powder, whey proteins, lactose, caseinates, milk proteins and milk fat.

So this is interesting because the nutritional information could be completely different if say whey protein was added to a product within the milk solids, or extra sugar in the form a lactose was added.


Basically, milk solids are the parts of milk that remain after the water is removed. So if this was added to a product, it would be listed on a label as “milk solids.”

Share this post: