The reason for the reported difference in spoilage behaviour of skim and whole pasteurised milks was investigated. The rates of growth of psychrotrophic bacteria were not significantly different in the two milks and the bacterial types, all pseudomonads, present at spoilage were also similar. However, when representative spoilage organisms were cultured into freshly pasteurised skim and whole milks, skim milks exhibited predominantly bitter flavours while whole milk showed mostly sour flavours. The different spoilage behaviours can be largely explained by greater proteolysis in skim milk than in whole milk, caused by higher production of protease and greater susceptibility of the protein to protease attack. In addition, lipolysis in whole milk, caused by the substantial quantities of lipase produced by spoilage pseudomonads in this milk, also contributes to the different flavours produced during cold storage of these milk types.