Milk powder

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Milk powder

Milk powder (or dry milk powder ) is a dry milk mass that is produced by removing all of the free water from the milk .


The first ready-to-use dry milk for infant nutrition was developed by Justus von Liebig in 1865 , two years later Henri Nestlé in Vevey changed the recipe and sold the new product under his brand.
The first method of producing milk powder in the United States was invented by New York City-based Samuel R. Percy . He received a US patent on April 9, 1872. In contrast, the first process to produce milk powder outside the United States occurred years earlier.


Whole milk has a water content of around 87.5 percent. This is reduced to around 3 percent for powder production (non-free water). Approximately six to seven liters of milk are required to produce one kilogram of dry milk powder. Whole milk powder is made from whole milk by means of drying . Before the drying step, the proportion of dry matter in evaporators is increased. The finished product contains around 26 percent fat, 25 percent protein and 38 percent lactose . Skimmed milk powder is a dry milk product made from skimmed milk through drying (residual water content around 4 percent). Skimmed milk powder contains around 36 percent protein and 52 percent lactose. Whey powder is made from whey . Whey is a by-product of cheese making. Whey is available as sweet whey powder or sour whey powder. Whey powder contains around 11 percent protein and 70 percent milk sugar. The methods used for dehydration are divided into spray drying and roller drying . With dehydration, milk loses some of its vitamins .


Milk powder is often used to make cheese , yoghurt , confectionery and baked goods, especially chocolate , and as a raw material for instant baby food. Milk powder is also used in areas in which weight-reduced and long-life foods are important, for example in the leisure-outdoor sector or in disaster areas. In Bulgaria , the brine cheese is partly made from milk powder. The subsidized milk overproduction in the EU and perhaps also in Switzerland and the USA , which is largely processed into milk powder and is exported , is of economic importance . As part of its changed agricultural policy , the EU has been buying since 2014 up to a maximum annual amount of 109,000 t (2006: 350,000 t, 2018 and 2019: 0 t) at an intervention price of 1.698 EUR / kg spray skimmed milk powder; In addition to these quantitative restrictions, the intervention agencies can buy it up to this maximum price by tendering and store it for later sale.

Among other things, milk is made from the milk powder again. This milk is then called dry milk. The production of dry milk takes place either industrially ( dry milk plant ) or in the household.

Skimmed milk powder is used in biochemistry or molecular biology to block non-specific binding sites of the antibodies used with proteins in immunological detection reactions, for example after a Western blot .

In addition to food quality, milk powder is also offered in feed quality or for bait ( boilie ).

Storage and taste

The food chemist Josef Tillmans has carried out in-depth studies on the causes of taste impairment in dry milk. He recommends storing milk powder in tightly closed containers in a cool room with a constant temperature and away from water vapor in order to avoid signs of decomposition.

According to his investigations, the powder easily absorbs moisture from the air and becomes initially sandy ( crystallization of lactose), later completely insoluble (crystallization of casein ), until it finally develops an unpleasant smell and taste ( bacteriological protein decomposition processes ). Direct sunlight causes a "peculiar sebum taste" (decomposition of the fat by UV radiation ). In contrast, contact with oxygen is only relevant after half a year to a year with dry powder, when fat oxidation processes become noticeable.

To make the dry milk, pour hot water over the powdered milk, as it dissolves easily when cold. If the powder has been adequately stored beforehand, then for milk powder produced using the spray-drying process ("Krause process"), the taste of the dry milk prepared from it is "indistinguishable from cooked fresh milk."

Advantages and disadvantages

The disadvantage of dry milk production is the increased energy expenditure - especially when producing milk powder. Another disadvantage is that the dry milk plant is required at the place of consumption if the dry milk is not to be produced in individual households, which is usually only provided for emergency situations in crisis areas. In addition, vitamins are lost through drying, about the same as in the production of long-life milk. Therefore, vitamins are added again later to some milk powders. Advantages are the possibility of storage for longer periods of time (in paper bags about six months), so it is suitable for the creation of emergency reserves, the low storage costs (little space, no tanks and no cooling required), the resulting good transport options for the milk powder and the possibility to prepare hot milk beverages (e.g. hot chocolate ) in a significantly shorter time using kettles .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. U.S. Patent Number 125,406 to Samuel R. Percy, accessed April 8, 2011.
  2. ^ Alfred Töpel: Chemistry and Physics of Milk.
  3. ^ Homepage of Nordmilch
  4. EU increases milk powder exports. In: . March 22, 2019, accessed September 23, 2019 .
  5. Significance of Swiss milk powder exports. In: Retrieved September 23, 2019 .
  6. In focus: EU milk powder and the milk market in Africa. In: Retrieved September 23, 2019 .
  7. Art. 1a para. 1 e) ii), Art. 2 para. 1 a), Art. 3 para. 1 of Regulation (EU) No. 1370/2013 of the Council of 16 December 2013 with measures to set certain subsidies and reimbursements related to the common organization of the market in agricultural products; Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE, German market regulation agency according to § 7 MOG): Intervention of dairy products
  8. ^ Alfred Pingoud , Claus Urbanke: Working methods of biochemistry . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-11-016513-9 .
  9. a b c Josef Tillmans : Textbook of food chemistry . Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 2013, ISBN 978-3-662-29961-6 , dry milk or milk powder, p. 130–133 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-29961-6 ( [accessed on May 11, 2018] first edition: JF Bergmann, Munich 1927).
  10. Daniela Huwyler: Everyday Life & Environment - Milk Powder - Almost as good as its origin. March 23, 2015, accessed May 11, 2018 .
  11. ↑ Types of cow's milk, milk processing and health - food monitor . In: food monitor . August 6, 2009 ( [accessed June 23, 2018]).

Web links

Wiktionary: milk powder  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations