Milk Powder

Powdered milk or dried milk is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness. One purpose of drying milk is to preserve it; milk powder has a far longer shelf life than liquid milk and does not need to be refrigerated, due to its low moisture content. Another purpose is to reduce its bulk for economy of transportation. Powdered milk and dairy products include such items as dry whole milk, nonfat (skimmed) dry milk, dry buttermilk, dry whey products and dry dairy blends. Many dairy products exported conform to standards laid out in Codex Alimentarius.  Powdered milk is used for food and health (nutrition), and also in biotechnology.  Milk can be dried by drum drying. Milk is applied as a thin film to the surface of a heated drum, and the dried milk solids are then scraped off. However, powdered milk made this way tends to have a cooked flavor, due to caramelization caused by greater heat exposure.  Another process is freeze drying, which preserves many nutrients in milk, compared to drum drying.  The drying method and the heat treatment of the milk as it is processed alters the properties of the milk powder, such as its solubility in cold water, its flavor, and its bulk density.

The typical average amounts of major nutrients in the unreconstituted nonfat dry milk are (by weight) 36% protein, 52% carbohydrates (predominantly lactose), calcium 1.3%, potassium 1.8%. Whole milk powder, on the other hand, contains on average 25-27% protein, 36-38% carbohydrates, 26-40% fat, and 5-7% ash (minerals). However, inappropriate storage conditions such as high relative humidity and high ambient temperature can significantly degrade the nutritive value of milk powder.  European production of milk powder is estimated around 800,000 tons of which the main volume is exported in bulk packing or consumer packs.

Uses

Powdered milk is frequently used in the manufacture of infant formula, confectionery such as chocolate and caramel candy, and in recipes for baked goods where adding liquid milk would render the product too thin. Powdered milk is also widely used in various sweets such as the famous Indian milk balls known as gulab jamun and popular Indian sweet delicacy (sprinkled with desiccated coconut) known as Chum chum (made with skim milk powder).   Milk powders contain all twenty-one standard amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and are high in soluble vitamins and mineral.

The typical average amounts of major nutrients in the unreconstituted nonfat dry milk are (by weight) 36% protein, 52% carbohydrates (predominantly lactose), calcium 1.3%, potassium 1.8%. Whole milk powder, on the other hand, contains on average 25-27% protein, 36-38% carbohydrates, 26-40% fat, and 5-7% ash (minerals). However, inappropriate storage conditions such as high relative humidity and high ambient temperature can significantly degrade the nutritive value of milk powder.  European production of milk powder is estimated around 800,000 tons of which the main volume is exported in bulk packing or consumer packs.

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