How long does dry milk last? Dry milk is also called milk powder or powdered milk. It is simply gotten by evaporating milk till it becomes dry.
This state makes it last longer than liquid milk due to the low content of moisture which makes it impossible for molds and bacteria to grow.
It does not necessarily need to be refrigerated because it can stay comfortably at its best quality when properly stored at a cool room temperature.
Also, it is easier to transport milk in its dried form.
Dried milk also serves as ingredients in puddings, cakes, bread, and many other food recipes, it maintains thick consistency too.
Powdered milk is as nutritious as fresh milk having vitamin A, D, calcium, and protein. It is great to cook with, drink, and boost the nutrients in our everyday foods.
In this post, you will know some cool storage hacks and shelf life tips on how to make this food ingredient last longer
Ranging from how long does dry milk last in the fridge, freezer, and at room temperature? How to tell if it’s bad and how to store it to make it last longer.
So, how long does dry milk last?
It is recommended to use within 18 months, this is when it will be in the best condition. Although, it can be used indefinitely. If left unopened, it can still be usable after 2 to 10 years.
Dried milk will last longer when kept away from moisture or oxygen and unopened. If opened, it is best you use it within 3 months.
In order to keep track of this, the label opened contains the date.
Store in opaque containers and keep in a cool, dark area.
How Long Does Dry Milk Last After Opening?
The general rule is to use opened dry milk within 3 months. To maximize the shelf life, keep it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and store it at room temperature in a cool place.
Keep away from unfriendly factors like air, moisture, and light.
If properly stored, it can still be used even after the written expiry date.
To further extend the shelf life, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze. It will stay usable for 3 years and more.
It should be constantly frozen at 0⁰F. If it’s been made into a fluid, it can keep for 5 to 7 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
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Does Dry Milk Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, after opening. Transfer into an airtight container, preferably glass or metal because plastic containers may contaminate the smell of milk, after which you refrigerate.
Non-fat dry milk may keep for a month if properly stored.
Due to the composition, it is photosensitive and hence should be stored away from light, heat, and moisture.
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How Long Does Instant Dry Milk Last?
Instant dry milk can last for a few months, it does not need to be refrigerated unless you add water to it. You’ve to use it within 3 to 5 days
Instant dry milk is the same as powdered milk and can be used interchangeably but there are slight differences.
Powdered milk has moisture removed. It can be in form of non-fat, whole, and buttermilk. Liquid milk is evaporated to obtain powdered milk, there could still be fat present or not.
Non-fat dry milk is in either instant form or non-instant form.
While instant non-fat milk can dissolve easily in water, non-instant cannot.
Powdered Milk tastes better than instant milk and it’s higher in vitamins.
Instant milk has a more gritty texture and does not dissolve easily. Instant milk just as the name implies is made instantly as soon as the water is added.
While powdered milk needs at least eight hours after the eater has been added.
This makes it dissolve better than instant milk.
How Long Does Expired Dry Milk Last?
Years after the best by date, it’ll still be intact. The shell life will depend on its exposure to heat and light. If stored at or below the temperature of 40⁰F, it will last for 2 to 10 years past the expiration date.
If reactivated with water, it should be consumed within 4 to 5 days if refrigerating.
Storing in its original pack may shorten the shell life but storing in an airtight container will increase the shelf life.
Freezing powdered milk will also keep it in the good condition for a long time even after the expiration date.
The best is vacuum sealing containers.
Moreover, the expiration dates do not imply that the food is unfit for human consumption, it is only the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the product will be at its best quality.
Is Dry Milk Same As Evaporated?
The answer is no, evaporated milk is canned liquid milk and not powder. It is slightly darker in color than fresh milk with a shelf life of about 15 months.
Evaporated milk is gotten by extracting 60% of the water from ordinary milk with gentle heat.
Freshly evaporated milk is cow’s milk that is canned and in liquid form.
It is different from condensed milk and cannot be used interchangeably.
Although condensed milk also extracts 60% of water, it adds sweetness making it thick and syrupy which makes it different from evaporated milk.
Evaporated milk has long shell life and can be diluted to resemble fresh milk.
It is more creamy than fresh milk and has less fat. And it’s thicker than fresh milk and can be stored for at least a year.
I’ll advise you not to use rusted, dented, or bulging cans. Use within 5 days.
Powdered milk is slightly sweet as a result of lactose, evaporated milk is sweeter because the lactose has been heated and caramelized.
Powdered milk may taste more solid and concentrated due to zero percent moisture.
Evaporated milk has 50% moisture and is cooked on slow heat so it is sweeter.
Both can stay for as long as 18 to 24 months and even longer so long as they are unopened.
Just ensure that they are protected from sunlight.
Evaporated milk can be substituted for powdered milk but the moisture content requires carefulness and skill.
To get improvised evaporated milk, add water to powdered milk in a ratio of 1:1. Lukewarm water is best to dissolve milk solids.
What is Dry Milk For Baking?
This ingredient gives a magical touch to your recipe. It adds more flavor without altering the moisture contents of your baking.
It makes ice creams silkier and cookies chewier, sandwich bread rises higher, and flatbreads are more tender.
So many tips and tricks can make your baked goods perfect or not.
It is important to master your ingredients and perfect baking skills.
One tip is swapping liquid milk for powdered milk.
Powdered milk may not have a striking taste on its own, if added to other dry ingredients, it results in an explosion of flavors at the end.
Apart from a flavor boost, it makes the dough brown and richer and thickens sauces too.
Are Dry Milk And Powdered Milk The Same?
The answer is yes! They’re the same and can be used interchangeably.
Though the disadvantage is that they are high in cholesterol and sugar which can be dangerous for blood vessels and cause heart diseases.
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How To Tell If Dry Milk Is Bad?
Here are some tips on how to tell if dry milk is bad;
- Throw out dry milk with off-odor, discoloration from white to yellow, change in texture and consistency.
- If there is moisture on it, wet clumps, mold, and bacteria will grow and it will go bad in a couple of days thereafter.
- How about the way it looks? If the appearance looks okay, check the change in smell.
- When the smell and appearance still don’t convince you, mix a small amount and taste. If still in doubt, it’s best you throw it out.
Consuming spoilt milk will cause stomach aches.
How To Store Dry Milk to Make It Last Longer?
Here’re some steps/ways how to keep your dry milk safe and last longer;
- Store in a water-proof package that is airtight.
- Plastic films are good only if it’s going to be stored for a short period of time.
- It is not ideal for the long term. Keep in a dark cupboard, inside an opaque glass or metal container.
- You can also refrigerate for a longer term. It must be protected from moisture, oxygen, heat, and light because it is photosensitive.
- If you don’t keep it properly, the nutrients will go off.
Full fat powdered milk, if opened or unopened will last 1 to 2 years after the best by date.
No fat powdered milk, if opened or unopened will last 2 to 4 years.
While mixed powdered milk will last 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
All of this time will be met if it’s properly stored.
Milk is an essential commodity consumed by roughly 70% of the world’s population.
The rest are vegans. It has nutrients to offer and as such, it’s used in most meals as supplements.
Bakers see it as a secret weapon ingredient and it gives magical touch and an obvious difference.
Like every other perishable, it must be stored properly else, it will go bad!
Remember, how long does dry milk last?