Powdered milk, also known as "dry milk," is a dried, solid form of milk. It contains just as much lactose as liquid milk. Powdered milk is used in a variety of packaged products, from hot dogs to breads. In this form, it is listed as "milk solids."
- Powdered milk has had almost all the water evaporated from it, so it is very light and fine. The other elements of the milk, such as lactose and milk proteins, still remain. Powdered milk has a much longer shelf life than regular milk. It is usually made from low-fat types of milk, such as skim, because higher fat content would make it more prone to going rancid. Powdered milk is considered far inferior in flavor to other kinds of milk.
- Powdered milk may be made from any type of milk--whole, 2 percent, 1 percent or skim. However, powdered milk made from whole milk is rare.
- Powdered milk is most often used to make milk in industrial settings, such as schools, soup kitchens and prisons. It is also commonly added to products like breads and other baked goods; cereals; cake, cookie, pancake and biscuit mixes; instant potatoes; soups and soup mixes; breakfast and energy drinks; non-Kosher hot dogs, sausages and lunch meats; frozen dinners; bottled dressings and sauces; margarine; packaged snacks (especially "cheese-flavored" items); and some candies.
- The invention of powdered milk is attributed to Gail Borden, who is said to have refined the process in 1851.