Dairy products are food items prepared from milk. These high energy-yielding food products consumed by humans are usually made of milk from mammals such as cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, and in some countries from camels, yaks, horses and other mammals. Specific cuisines include milk products in greater quantity than usual such as in Middle Eastern cuisine, Indian cuisine and European cuisine than in traditional Asian cuisine where milk products used in the preparation of foods is almost negligible.
A production plant that specialises in processing milk into dairy products is commonly referred to as dairy or a dairy factory. Animal husbandry is a form of agriculture also known as dairy farming that looks into the long-term production of milk and dairy products, not just from cattle but also from sheep and goats. Dairy farming is usually a large scale industry wherein milk and milk products are processed at the venue and transferred to dairy factories around the area for retail and commercial sales.
Some popular forms of dairy products that are available worldwide include butter, cheeses, cultured milk, clotted cream, whole milk and butter milk products, clarified butter, whey foods, ice cream, cultured milk products, condensed and evaporated milk, casein, infant formula, cottage cheese and yoghurt.
Various countries produce different types of cheese depending on the kind of milk used in order to bring out distinctive flavours, textures and styles. Cheese has been highly valued since ancient times for its high content of fat and the important nutritional value that it offers such as calcium, protein and phosphorus, and mainly because of its long life and portability.
Cultured dairy products or cultured milk products are also included within dairy foods; these are made by fermenting the primary ingredient -- milk, with lactic acid bacteria in order to increase the shelf life of the food product and enhance its taste while improving the edibility of milk.