A Guide To How Powdered Milk Is Made

In many ways, powdered milk was a revolutionary development for food manufacturers and consumers. Humans have long valued milk as a nutrient-rich substance, but before modern methods of food processing, limits existed around both storage and consumption. Powdered milk changed this.

While powdered milk as we know it dates back roughly 150 years, the concept of deriving long-lasting food substances from perishable commodities is centuries old. One of the earliest methods used to improve the shelf life of milk was to boil it, skim the fat from the top for butter, and then place the remaining liquid in the sun to dehydrate it.

We’ve come a long way since then, but our goals are the same: Take a nutrient-rich substance, extend its shelf life and create a new, highly-versatile ingredient to be used in a variety of food products. So, how is everyday milk powder made by today’s food manufacturers, how has the process evolved, and how does milk retain its integrity as it dries out?

How Is Powdered Milk Made?

Chefs globally will attest to the immense value of powdered milk in the kitchen. That said, most lack even a rudimentary understanding of the process by which it is manufactured. The technical details are complex, but the concept is relatively simple.

Spray drying is one of the most tried and true methods used to create powdered milk while keeping its nutritional value intact. Many food manufacturers and contract manufacturers have adopted this technology, with powdered milk being just one of many products that it can produce.

To convert a liquid into a powder, you must extract all moisture. Spray drying allows you to dehydrate a substance quickly and efficiently without compromising product quality. Here’s how milk powder is made in a factory or food manufacturing facility:

To begin, milk must first be treated via pasteurization to prevent microbials from growing and contaminating the product. From there, it is pumped to the top of spray dryer and converted into a fine mist via atomization. This can be done with either a nozzle or a spinning disc known as a rotary atomizer. In this state, each particle has greater surface area exposure, reducing the time required to evaporate all water contained within the particle. When combined with elevated air temperatures, the water quickly evaporates, leaving behind pure powdered milk, which can be collected and packaged.

What Services Does PacMoore Offer?

Want to know more? Still asking yourself “How is powdered milk made?” Reach out to us at PacMoore. Our team has spent the better part of a decade perfecting the use of our production and pilot spray dryers. We have the capacity to take on complex food manufacturing projects, and our cutting-edge spray drying technology allows us to produce some of the best fod ingredients on the market.

PacMoore has become a household name in food contract manufacturing. Contact us today to find out why and learn more about our spray drying services.