Advantages & Disadvantages of Powdered Milk

Updated July 19, 2017

Powdered milk is a food product made by removing nearly all moisture from liquid milk. The product is sold in small tins, bags or boxes in most grocery stores nationwide. Powdered milk can be reconstituted and used as milk, or it may be used in baked goods or to enhance the flavour of other ingredients.

Versatility and Extended Shelf Life

Powdered milk lasts much longer than its liquid counterpart. On average, fresh milk lasts only 18 days in the refrigerator before it begins to curdle. This curdling often results in a strong odour and can affect the taste and smell of other food products with the milk. Powdered milk, however, can last up to 18 months. In addition, unlike traditional milk that must be stored in a refrigerator and kept cold at all times to keep from spoiling, powdered milk can withstand a variety of temperatures and conditions. The product can be stored on a shelf at room temperature, and can withstand warm temperatures for longer periods. Although liquid milk will spoil if left in a grocery bag in a hot car all day, powdered milk will remain unchanged.

Economic Benefits

Powdered milk is usually more economical than liquid milk. A tin of powered milk is generally less expensive than a gallon of milk, and makes an ample amount of milk when mixed with water. Because the product weighs less than milk and does not require refrigeration during shipping, powdered milk is more economical to transfer, keeping production and transportation costs lower. Because powdered milk comes in several varieties, such as buttermilk, skim, whole and nonfat varieties, you can use it as a substitute for liquid milk in almost all situations.

Unique Taste

Many customers believe that powdered milk, when mixed with water, does not test as fresh or as good as liquid milk. However, powdered milk is often unrecognisable when combined with chocolate or strawberry sauce or when used in coffee or tea, according to Wise Geek. To reduce any textural differences between liquid and powdered milk, stir all lumps out of the mixture before refrigerating. Use powdered milk in milkshakes, smoothies and additional blended drinks to reduce the product's unique taste and enhance the flavours of additional ingredients.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Baker holds a Masters of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and has been working with Demand Media Studios since 2002, specializing in health, education, food and travel topics.