Glossary Index

Use the links below to navigate to a page listed in alphabetical order.


Terms A-F

Terms G-L

Terms M-R

Terms S-Z

G - H - I - J - K - L


Grade A Milk

(also called fluid grade milk or market milk) Milk produced and processed under the strictest sanitary regulations prescribed, inspected, and approved by public health authorities. In most markets, milk used in any products intended for consumption in fluid form must meet this inspection standard.

Grade B Milk

(also called manufacturing grade milk) Milk produced and processed with sanitary regulations prescribed, inspected, and approved by public health authorities for milk to be used for manufactured products only. The USDA Recommended Requirements for Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and its Production and Processing are guidelines for state milk control agencies. Not to be confused with "milk used in manufacturing," which can include grade A milk or with "Class 2", " Class 3", "Class 4a" or "Class 4b", which are classification categories for milk in California.

Return to TOP


Handlers: "Handler" has a variety of uses and may refer to:

  • A person (other than a cooperative association) who operates one or more pool plants or operates any other plant from which Class 1 milk is disposed of directly or indirectly during the month in the marketing area.
  • A cooperative association that has authority from its individual producer members to market their milk and receive payment and which operates one or more pool plants.
  • A cooperative association acting as a marketing agent for producer milk which it markets and receives payment therefor under authority of contracts or agreements with its individual members.
  • A person who operates a milk plant located in the marketing area and receives market milk from one or more dairy ranches.

Hard Products

Generally used in referring to the more storable manufactured dairy products, such as butter, nonfat dry milk, cheeses other than cottage cheese, and evaporated or condensed milk.


California's dairy regulations allow any interested party to petition the Department of Food and Agriculture for a hearing on proposed changes in the Stabilization Plans. If the proposal is justified, a hearing is called by the Secretary of Food and Agriculture. At the hearing, a hearing officer presides. Proponents and opponents of the change submit evidence (oral and written) to the hearing panel to support their case. On the basis of the hearing record, a hearing panel makes a recommended decision to the Secretary. The decision issued by the Secretary is final and does not usually require a referendum.

Hearing Panel*

The panel is typically made up of the Secretary of Food and Agriculture. At the hearing, proponents and opponents of the petition submit evidence (oral and written) to the hearing panel to support their case. On the basis of the hearing record, the panel makes a recommended decision to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

Homogenized Milk

Milk that has been treated to ensure breakup of fat globules. Homogenization prevents the cream portion of milk from separating from the skim portion. A test of adequate homogenization is such that after 48 hours of quiescent storage at room temperature, no visible cream separation occurs on the milk.


High-temperature, short–time pasteurization. It is the most commonly used process for pasteurizing milk. See pasteurization.

Return to TOP


Ice Milk

Ice milk is a general category of frozen dairy desserts that includes lowfat, reduced fat, light and nonfat ice cream. Ice milks resemble ice cream, except that they contain less fat than ice cream. Ice milks and ice cream contain stabilizers, emulsifiers and about 15 percent sugar.

Imitation Milks or Imitation Dairy Products

Mixtures of nondairy ingredients (other than milk, milkfat, and nonfat milk solids) which are combined forming a product similar to milk, lowfat milk, or skim milk, or comparable analogs of other dairy products. Sodium caseinate, though derived from milk, is commonly termed a non–dairy ingredient and is often used as a source of protein in imitation milks. Vegetable oils are commonly used as the source of fat.

Individual Handler Pool

A pooling system which bases the farmers' price on the utilization of an individual handler. Prices to farmers in the same area will vary, but all farmers shipping to the same handler get the same blend price.

Industrial Milk

Terminology used in Canada and elsewhere outside the U.S. to refer to grade B milk.

Ineligible List*

Identifies handlers that are not covered by the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund as a result of failure to:

  • file a proper bond with CDFA,
  • pay producers upon demand,
  • pay the equalization fund.

Interstate Milk Shippers List

A government publication (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) that indicates interstate milk shippers that have been certified by State Milk sanitation authorities as having attained the necessary milk sanitation compliance ratings.

Return to TOP



The term lacks precision and is understood in various ways. A jugger often refers to any handler selling milk in gallon jugs from his own dairy store outlets. Another use of "jugger" is in identifying a producer who operates as a producer-handler and sells milk from a dairy store direct from the farm premises.

Return to TOP


Lactose Reduced

A dairy product in which the milk sugar, lactose, has been broken down into two separate sugars, glucose and galactose. The process aids digestibility of dairy products, especially to consumers who may be lactose intolerant.


A food that derives 50% or more of its calories from fat may use the term “light” if the food is reduced in fat content by 50% or more per reference amount when compared with an appropriate reference food. A food that derives less than 50% of its calories from fat must either reduce the caloric value by at least one–third or reduce the fat content by a minimum of 50% per reference amount when compared with an appropriate reference food.

Location Differentials

System of zoning pool plants in a federal milk marketing orders according to distance from the metropolitan center of the market and designed to equalize the cost of class I milk to handlers, FOB the market. Specific rates are designed to represent the cost of transporting milk from that zone to the market. With the class I price being the highest for plants in the city zone, the location differential represents a deduction from the city zone price based on where the plant is located. Distances are usually divided into zones to facilitate price adjustments. The practice of using location differentials has been abandoned and replaced with county–specific differentials.

In California, location differentials were used prior to 1983 as a means of getting milk to move from production areas to fluid milk plants. Location differentials were added to or deducted from quota payments to producers and were determined by the location of the plant that first received the milk. The differentials were meant to offset some of the added cost of transporting milk to the more distant fluid milk plants.

Louisville Plan

Seasonal incentive plan that retains a specified amount of money during the spring months from the blend price. This money is placed into a fund and is then used to supplement payments to producers during the fall months when milk production is lower. This plan increases the price paid farmers for milk sold in the fall and lowers the price of milk sold during flush spring months, without affecting prices charged to handlers.


A food that contains 3g or less of total fat per reference amount.

Lowfat Milk

The term has a general meaning and a specific meaning. As a general term, it is milk from which sufficient milkfat has been removed to produce a milkfat content equal to or less than 2 percent. In California, processors are required to produce a lowfat milk milk that also contains a minimum percent nonfat milk solids. When used to refer to a specific product, lowfat milk refers to milk that contains 1 percent fat and 11 percent solids–not–fat. Reduced fat milk, another lowfat milk product, contains 2 percent fat and 10 percent solids–not–fat. Handlers operating in federal milk markets are not required to add extra nonfat solids to lowfat fluid milks.

Return to TOP