Last updated 21st August 2016. Dairy is that which is produced from animal milk, mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffaloes, sheep, horses or camels for the consumption of humans.
They are usually high energy-yielding food products.
Dairy products are commonly found in European, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine.
Whereas aside from Mongolian cuisine they are little-known in traditional East Asian cuisine.
These are they types of dairy products available:
- Milk after optional homogenization, pasteurization, in several grades after standardization of the fat level, and possible addition of the bacteria Streptococcus lactis and Leuconostoc citrovorum.
- Crème fraîche, slightly fermented cream
- Clotted cream, thick, spoonable cream made by heating milk
- Single cream, double cream and whipping cream
- Smetana, Central and Eastern European variety of sour cream
- Cultured milk resembling buttermilk, but uses different yeast and bacterial cultures
- Kefir, fermented milk drink from the Northern Caucasus
- Kumis/Airag, slightly fermented mares’ milk popular in Central Asia
- Powdered milk (or milk powder), produced by removing the water from (usually skim) milk
- Whole milk products
- Buttermilk products
- Skim milk
- Whey products
- High milk-fat and nutritional products (for infant formulas)
- Condensed milk, milk which has been concentrated by evaporation, with sugar added for reduced process time and longer life in an opened can
- Khoa, milk which has been completely concentrated by evaporation, used in Indian cuisine including gulab jamun, peda, etc.)
- Evaporated milk, (less concentrated than condensed) milk without added sugar
- Ricotta, acidified whey, reduced in volume
- Infant formula, dried milk powder with specific additives for feeding human infants
- Baked milk, a variety of boiled milk that has been particularly popular in Russia
- Butter, mostly milk fat, produced by churning cream
- Buttermilk, the liquid left over after producing butter from cream, often dried as livestock feed
- Ghee, clarified butter, by gentle heating of butter and removal of the solid matter
- Smen, a fermented, clarified butter used in Moroccan cooking
- Anhydrous milkfat (clarified butter)
- Cheese, produced by coagulating milk, separating from whey and letting it ripen, generally with bacteria and sometimes also with certain molds
- Curds, the soft, curdled part of milk (or skim milk) used to make cheese
- Whey, the liquid drained from curds and used for further processing or as a livestock feed
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese, produced by the addition of cream to milk and then curdled to form a rich curd or cheese
- Fromage frais
- Casein are
- Caseinates, sodium or calcium salts of casein
- Milk protein concentrates and isolates
- Whey protein concentrates and isolates, reduced lactose whey
- Hydrolysates, milk treated with proteolytic enzymes to alter functionality
- Mineral concentrates, byproduct of demineralizing whey
- Yogurt, milk fermented by Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus sometimes with additional bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lassi, Indian subcontinent
- Clabber, milk naturally fermented to a yogurt-like state
- Gelato, slowly frozen milk and water, lesser fat than ice cream
- Ice cream, slowly frozen cream, milk, flavors and emulsifying additives (dairy ice cream)
- Ice milk, low-fat version of ice cream
- Frozen custard
- Frozen yogurt, yogurt with emulsifiers
So can hamsters eat dairy at all?
It depends on what the dairy product is.
The first thing to bear in mind with dairy products are that they are high in calcium and fat.
So if they were to eat them they can’t only have a little at a time.
For example, they can nibble on cheese but take care as it is often high in fat so its not a staple food for them, just an occasional one.
Just one or two small pieces that they can hold in their paws is more than sufficient for them.
As far as milk is concerned they can’t drink it, just water. It will give them stomach pains.
Ice cream, yogurt and creme freche are not good textures for them to consume and they wont handle them well.
If you are not certain of the product, don’t feed it to them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
So in summary, stick to giving them cheese on an occasional basis.
Avoid other types of dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt, milk, creme freche, and quark.