Many people think that the powdered milk packaged in #10 cans that comes in long term food storage units is icky. They don’t want to use it, they don’t know how to use it, and they sure don’t want to drink it. Well take heart America, you’re sadly mistaken. You need to learn about this great food storage product.
Powdered milk packaged for long term food storage can be instant non-fat milk or non-instant non-fat milk. Generally speaking, one No. 10 can makes around 5 to 5.5 gallons. But, how is it made?
How Powdered Milk is Made
Real, liquid milk is first run through a filter, and then goes through an evaporator where about a third of its water is removed. This evaporation is done at a lower temperature, generally around 135 degrees F. This prevents the milk being damaged during the evaporation process.
Next, the milk is pasteurized, then run through a separator which removes the cream or butterfat. Afterwards, the milk is standarized, where different components of the milk are mixed until it becomes a consistent product.
One method of turning the condensed milk into powder is through a spray nozzle system. The milk enters a dryer tower that may be 12 stories high. The spray nozzles are at the top of the tower and they spray the milk into swirling air that is around 400 degrees F. As the milk droplets fall, the swirling air removes the water out of the droplets until all that’s left is a small particle of milk powder not much larger than a speck of dust. At the bottom of the tower is a hopper where the milk powder is collected.
Why You Want Real Powdered Milk
There are milk alternatives or substitutes, but you want the real thing in your food storage because of the nutritional benefits it provides. Some milk substitutes have high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil as ingredients. These are not things I want in my milk and neither do you.
The Difference Between Instant and Non-Instant Powdered Milk
The powdered milk you can buy at the grocery store is generally INSTANT powdered milk, while the milk in your food storage may be NON-INSTANT. Instant powdered milk from the grocery store is lighter, fluffier, and has more air in it than non-instant powdered milk. As a result, you generally have to double the amount of instant milk used when compared to non-instant. Take that into consideration when you are determining the cost. Grocery store powdered milk is generally more expensive in the long run.
Now, the powdered milk in your food storage unit may be non-instant powdered milk or instant non-fat powdered milk. Both are satisfactory and give good results. The main point I want to make is that the instant powdered milk from the grocery store is generally not what you want to store.
Reconstituting Powdered Milk
When you reconstitute powdered milk, you may want to put a little bit of sugar in it, and if you really like to experiment, you can try putting a little vanilla in it.
Make sure you chill the reconstituted milk after you make it. Stick it in the refrigerator until it’s cold. Warm, reconstituted powdered milk IS ICKY. So, chill it first, then it won’t be icky, and you’ll actually enjoy using it.