Dry Milk

Drying generally follows concentration in an evaporator. Clarification and homogenization precede evaporating and drying. Homogenization of whole milk at 63 to 74°C with pressures of 17 to 24 MPa (2500-3500 psi) is particularly desirable for reconstitution and the preservation of quality.

Dry milk is generally made by the drum-drying or spray-drying method. The spray process uses less heat than the drum process; hence the powder produced by the spray process is more soluble in water. Solubility of the powder can be further improved by coupling the agglomeration (or instantization) process with the spray process. In the agglomeration process, powder particles are agglomerated into larger particles that dissolve more easily than smaller particles.

Dry whole milk should be vacuum- or gas-packed to maintain quality under storage. Products containing milk-fats deteriorate in the presence of oxygen, giving oxidation off-flavor. Antioxidants of many kinds have been used with various degrees of success, but a universally acceptable antioxidant that meets the requirements for food additives has not yet been found.

Dry milk reduces transportation costs, provides long-term storage, and supplies a product that can be used for food-manufacturing operations. It has been used primarily for manufactured products but is now used to a much greater extent for beverage products. The moisture content for nonfat dry milk, the principal dry milk product, is <5.0% for standard grade and <4.0% for extra grade. Dry whole milk contains <3.0% moisture.

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