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Cold-pressed milk is not raw milk

Cold-pressed milk is not raw milk

Running this project, many friends on social media have sent me photos of their raw milk loot. Australian friends are sometimes caught by surprise to find out their “raw milk” is not actually “raw” by any means.

Raw milk is milk that has not been processed to change its composition. That means no pasteurization, no homogenization, no high pressure processing, or any other process to transform the milk.

What is cold-pressed raw milk?

“Cold-pressed raw milk” is milk that was put through a process called High Pressure Processing. From this article “Cold-pressed raw milk” highly processed, says NSW Food Authority

Despite reports last week that “cold-pressed raw milk” is now on shelves in NSW, the NSW Food Authority says the milk is actually “highly pro­cessed”.

Sydney company Made by Cow received approval to use cold pressure instead of conventional heat pasteurisation to sell what it calls raw milk.

They go on to explain…

A NSW Food Authority spokeswoman said the method was known as high-pressure processing.

“HPP is the use of high hydro­static pressure to destroy harmful microorganisms in food,” she said.

Foodstuffs such as juices, dips, salsas, meat products and seafood are al­re­ad­­y pasteurised with HPP. 

HPP equipment is sold by manufacturers in the US, Europe and Japan and costs anywhere from $500,000 to $2.5 million a unit.

The Food Standards Code requires milk to be pasteurised — either by heat or by other methods that achieve an equivalent food safety outcome.

“The high pressure processing pasteurises the milk, but without using heat — it is not raw milk,” the NSW Food Authority spokeswoman said.

“The NSW Food Authority has worked closely with this company to ensure that the process they are proposing to use will lead to a product being sold to consumers which is safe, pasteurised and most certainly not raw.

Mislabeled “raw” milk

This is the labeling on MadeByCow’s high pressure processed milk.

I’ve seen this alternate labeling, which might be the primary form you’ll see it in.

MadeByCow’s label clearly states “raw” milk, but it’s anything but raw.

Should you consume cold-processed “raw” milk?

I never struggled with lactose intolerance. When I’m traveling I might consume local vat-pasteurized if that’s the best option. If “cold-pressed” milk was the best option I had available to me, I might go with it, but it’s not raw milk. If you’re looking for raw milk, this isn’t it.

My disinterest in High Pressure Processing is primarily centered around the fact that it requires expensive equipment to implement. If we all compromised and switched to HPP milk, we’d end up in the same situation where milk only comes from the few big companies who can afford to produce it through the approved methods.


HPP equipment is sold by manufacturers in the US, Europe and Japan and costs anywhere from $500,000 to $2.5 million a unit.

Just to go off-grid for a moment, a food system where independent farmers are processing their milk with $1,000 or $10,000 vat pasteurizers on-site would be preferable to “cold-processing.”

I’d rather support my neighbors and buy raw milk from independent farmers.

Find raw milk in Australia

Australian raw milk can only be sold as a cosmetic.

Learn more and see examples in the article Raw milk is “bath milk” in Australia.

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