Powdered 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.
Milk Powder manufacture is a simple process now carried out on a large scale. It involves the gentle removal of water at the lowest possible cost under stringent hygiene conditions while retaining all the desirable natural properties of the milk - colour, flavour, solubility, nutritional value. Whole (full cream) milk contains, typically, about 87% water and skim milk contains about 91% water. During Milk Powder manufacture, this water is removed by boiling the milk under reduced pressure at low temperature in a process known as evaporation. The resulting concentrated milk is then sprayed in a fine mist into hot air to remove further moisture and so give a powder.
The different milks tend to vary according to the way they are produced, and their fat content. The fat content of milk varies depending on the product e.g. whole milk has a fat content of about 4% fat, whole standardised milk, that which is widely available for sale, has a minimum fat content of 3.5% fat, semi skimmed milk contains 1.7% fat, skimmed milk contains about 0.1% fat, and in addition there is 1% fat milk.
Milk Powder of various types are used in a wide range of products such as baked goods, snacks and soups, chocolates and confectionary (e.g. milk chocolate), ice cream, infant formulae, nutritional products for invalids, athletes, hospital use etc., recombined milks and other liquid beverages.
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