MILK is a fundamental part of many people’s daily food intake but a study shows that not all brands in Spain are of the same quality or price.

The OCU consumer group has tested 38 brands of semi-skimmed milk which are big sellers and come up with a rankings list of best and worst choices.

Despite some major milk brands that are prominent on all shelves, the Mercadona supermarket chain is the winner with an own-brand offering.

According to the OCU study, the Hacendado semi-skimmed milk sold by the retail giant comes top with a score of 78 out of 100.

The OCU highlights the good quality of the industrial processing, its nutritional value, its hygiene and its taste.

In second place is the El Buen Pastor brand, with a score of 76 out of 100 which can be found in supermarkets such as El Corte Ingles or Carrefour.

Third place goes to Clesa Bienatur semi-skimmed milk, with a score of 75 out of 100 while Llet Nostra semi-skimmed milk is fourth with 71 points out of 100.

It’s manufactured by Catalan cooperatives and is one of the highest quality options on the market.

Fifth place is shared by Beyena and Pascual, with 70 points out of 100 with their products having a high penetration in Spain’s supermarkets.

The wooden spoon goes to the French-owned Alcampo supermarket with its own-brand Auchan semi-skimmed milk, which gets just 44 points out of 100.

The OCU pulls no punches describing it as ‘poor quality’ as it fails in its processing, especially in its heat treatment.

Supersol, Xoia, Gaza, Quien es el jefe, Solar, President, Condis, Central Lechera Asturiana, Gurelesa, CampoBueno and Feiraco all score between 53 and 59 out of 100 and are characterszed by medium or low quality, poor taste and poor processing quality.

When looking to buy semi-skimmed milk, the OCU makes the following recommendations:

• The quality of the processing. It is important that the milk has been subjected to an adequate heat treatment, which guarantees its hygiene and preservation, without altering its nutritional properties or taste.

• Nutritional value. It is advisable that milk has a good supply of proteins, calcium, fats, sugars and vitamins, which are essential for the body.

• Labeling. It is essential that milk clearly indicates its origin, composition, expiry date and storage.

• The price. It is advisable to compare the prices of the different brands and choose the one that offers the best value for money.

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