Can Frogs Keep Milk from Going Bad?

During busy mornings, it can be difficult to get ready and leave on time. Often, the meal we skip when we’re short on time is breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day.

While it would be nice to have a cooked breakfast every morning, there’s no need to leave the house without eating something. In fact, there’s a go-to breakfast option that doesn’t require cooking: cereal.

Simply pour your favorite cereal into a bowl, add milk, and you’ll be ready to start your day with energy. Regardless of the type of milk your family prefers, always make sure it’s fresh and safe to consume. There’s nothing worse than pouring spoiled milk on your cereal!

How can you tell if milk is spoiled? Your nose can usually detect it. The “sniff” test will usually reveal a distinct sour smell if your milk is spoiled. You can also check the expiration date on the carton to ensure it hasn’t passed.

With today’s technology, it’s relatively easy to keep milk refrigerated and fresh for many days. However, in the past, this wasn’t always the case. People had to use various strategies and tricks to prevent milk from spoiling.

If you lived in Russia a long time ago, an old folk belief suggested adding one thing to your milk to prevent it from spoiling: a frog. How did this belief that Russian brown frogs could keep milk fresh originate?

No one knows for certain. Some historians point to old folk tales that featured both frogs and milk. Others believe the association may have come from the fact that frogs often ended up in milk cans submerged in natural springs to keep them cold.

Regardless of the origin of the belief, it wasn’t given much scientific credibility until recently. In 2012, organic chemists from Moscow State University discovered that frog skin secretions contain antibacterial compounds called peptides.

In fact, they found that some of the peptides they identified were as effective against dangerous bacteria, such as Salmonella and Staphylococcus, as popular prescription antibiotics.

Researchers believe that the peptides secreted by frogs act as a first line of defense against potentially harmful bacteria and other microorganisms that thrive in the moist environments that frogs and other amphibians inhabit.

So if your milk is close to its expiration date, should you add a frog to it? Scientists do not recommend putting frogs in your milk to keep it fresh. Simply keep it in the refrigerator and don’t let it go past its expiration date.

As for frogs and their skin secretions, scientists hope that the peptides they have identified will help them develop new antibiotic drugs. With more and more bacteria strains becoming resistant to traditional antibiotics, the discovery of new drugs synthesized from peptides found in frog skin is an exciting development.

Try It Out

Are you interested in learning more about frogs? Make sure to explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • Is it only the skin of the frog that could have medical benefits? It’s possible that there’s more to it! Take a look at the article “Researchers Use Frog Mucus To Fight the Flu” to discover how frogs might be useful in combating another common illness.
  • Enlist the help of a friend or family member to search for frogs near your home. If you live close to a body of water or a damp, swampy area, you’re likely to find frogs nearby. What kinds of frogs can you find? Use the online Frog Identification guide to help you identify the frogs you come across.
  • Are you a fan of milk? Do you enjoy conducting science experiments? Why not combine the two? With assistance from a friend or family member, try out the Magic Milk science experiment. Make some educated guesses about what you think will happen in the experiment. Were your predictions correct? Share your findings with others.

Sources of Wonder



1. Can frogs prevent milk from spoiling?

No, frogs cannot prevent milk from spoiling. Frogs are amphibians and have no special properties that can prevent milk or any other food from spoiling. The spoilage of milk is due to the growth of bacteria, which release enzymes that break down the milk proteins and fats, causing it to spoil. Frogs do not have any antibacterial or preservative properties that can inhibit the growth of these bacteria. Therefore, it is not possible for frogs to prevent milk from spoiling.

2. Are there any myths or beliefs about frogs preventing milk spoilage?

Yes, there are some myths or beliefs in certain cultures that suggest frogs can prevent milk from spoiling. However, these beliefs are not based on scientific evidence and are considered to be superstitions. It is important to rely on scientific knowledge and understanding when it comes to food preservation and spoilage. While frogs are fascinating creatures, they do not possess any magical or mystical abilities to prevent milk or any other food from spoiling.

3. What factors contribute to milk spoilage?

Several factors contribute to milk spoilage. The primary factor is the presence of bacteria in the milk. Bacteria can enter the milk through various sources such as improper handling, contamination during milking, or unsanitary storage conditions. Other factors that contribute to milk spoilage include exposure to air, temperature fluctuations, and light. These factors create an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria, which then break down the milk components and cause it to spoil. Proper storage, refrigeration, and pasteurization are essential to prevent milk spoilage.

4. How can milk spoilage be prevented?

Milk spoilage can be prevented by following proper storage and handling practices. It is important to keep milk refrigerated at temperatures below 40°F (4°C) to slow down bacterial growth. Milk should be stored in a clean, airtight container to prevent contamination. Avoid exposing milk to direct sunlight or high temperatures, as they can accelerate spoilage. Additionally, pasteurization is a crucial step in preventing milk spoilage. The process involves heating the milk to kill harmful bacteria and prolong its shelf life. By following these practices, milk spoilage can be significantly reduced.

5. What are the signs of milk spoilage?

There are several signs that indicate milk spoilage. The most common sign is a sour or off smell. Spoiled milk has a distinct odor that is unpleasant and different from its usual fresh smell. Another sign is the presence of lumps or curdled texture in the milk. Spoiled milk may appear chunky or have clumps, indicating bacterial activity. Changes in color, such as yellowing or browning, are also indicative of milk spoilage. Lastly, if the taste of milk is sour or unpleasant, it is a clear indication that it has spoiled. It is important to discard spoiled milk as consuming it can lead to foodborne illnesses.

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