The production of beverage milks combines the unit operations of clarification, separation (for the production of lower fat milks), pasteurization, and homogenization. The process is simple, as indicated in the flow chart. While the fat content of most raw milk is 4% or higher, the fat content in most beverage milks has been reduced to 3.4%. Lower fat alternatives, such as 2% fat, 1% fat, or skim milk (<0.1% fat) or also available in most markets. These products are either produced by partially skimming the whole milk, or by completely skimming it and then adding an appropriate amount of cream back to achieve the desired final fat content.
Vitamins may be added to both full fat and reduced fat milks. Vitamins A and D (the fat soluble ones) are often supplemented in the form of a water soluble emulsion to offset that quantity lost in the fat separation process.