Top 5 Perfect Dry Milk Substitutes for Milk Powder

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Dry milk is simply a dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness. It is also known as powder milk or powdered milk. On the other hand, malaria has all properties of dry milk but appears yellowish from the malt grain, mostly barley.

The manufacture of dried milk is credited to a Russian doctor known as Osip Krichevsky in 1802. A Russian chemist advanced its commercialization later in the year 1832. However, the procedure has changed in modern times, and now powdered milk is made using various processes, but almost all of them include spray, drying nonfat skimmed or whole milk or buttermilk or whey. All available dry milk products must meet the international food standards that have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Below are some notable processes of making dry milk.

Process 1

Freeze-drying/cryodesiccation-it’s a low-temperature dehydration procedure that involves freezing the product, lowering its pressure then removing the ice by sublimation. The most significant advantage of this method is that the original shape of the product is maintained.

Process 2

Drum drying-Here the milk is spread as a film on the surface of a heated drum, and then dried milk solids are scraped off. The flavor might be tasted cooked under this method because of inevitable caramelization.

Process 3

Pasteurization-Milk is first concentrated in an evaporator to around 50% milk solids. The resulting concentrated milk is then sprayed into a heated chamber where the water almost instantly evaporates, leaving fine particles of powdered milk.

Nutritional value of Dry milk

It is undeniable that since dry milk is a perfect substitute for regular milk, it is nutritious. They contain around 21 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. They are also high in soluble vitamins and minerals.

Estimated major nutrient concentration in the reconstituted nonfat dry milk are as follows:
Carbohydrates-52%(mainly lactose)
On the other hand, whole milk powder has an average of:
5-7% ash(minerals)

Note: In some countries, powdered milk is mandatory to have vitamin D so that a daily intake will guarantee 300 up to 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D. Commercialized powders are estimated to have oxysterols(oxidized cholesterol) in higher amounts than in fresh milk(up to 30µg/g). High stakes, however, have been suspected of causing atherosclerotic conditions. Improper storage and very high temperatures also significantly affect the nutritional value of powder milk.

Advantages of Dry milk

  • A prolonged shelf life than regular liquid milk.
  • No need for refrigeration since it does well under room temperature.
  • It is less bulky for transportation.
  • It has low moisture content since most of the water has been removed.
  • It is economically viable since it costs less than regular milk.

Disadvantages of Dry milk

  • Its solubility is limited sometimes to only warm liquids.
  • Changed taste or flavor.
  • Bulk density due to its powdery form.

Food and health use of Dry milk

  • Highly used in manufacturing infant formula, which is food for babies under the age of 12 months.
  • It is used as a beverage.
  • Used in baking, especially when avoiding to use liquid milk, e.g., in breads and casseroles.
  • Used for making delicacies such as chum mostly made with skim milk powder.
  • It is also used in making confectionery, i.e., sweets and chocolates, e.g., the Indian milk balls.
  • Used in nut-butters since liquid milk would make the nut butter turn liquid by absorbing the oil.
  • Widely used in UN food aid supplies, fallout shelters, and warehouses, mostly taken to developing countries because of reduced transport and storage costs and considered highly nonperishable.
  • Also used by hikers since they consider it easy to prepare food and less timing.
  • The filmmaking industry uses it as a non-toxic prop due to its resemblance to cocaine and other drugs.
  • Used in biotechnology-The fat-free milk is used as a saturating agent used to block nonspecific binding sites. This includes blotting membranes (nitrocellulose, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).

Top 5 Perfect Dry Milk Substitutes for Milk Powder

The substitutes come from plants. They are typically liked because of their culinary characteristics. They may include the following:
• Powdered rice milk
• Powdered potato milk
• Powdered coconut milk
• Powdered cashew nuts

1. Regular Milk

Regular Milk

Regular milk, also called fresh milk, contains a superior flavor and taste and has more bioactive components than powdered milk. It contains more B12 and B5 vitamins, phosphorus, and selenium. All these help to keep the nervous system fit and improves enzyme function. Since powdered milk is a good substitute for regular milk, the vice-versa is also true. For recipes that require water as well, especially in baking, regular milk does just fine.

However, the proportion should be taken cautiously. One can apply the recommended conversion ratio of dry milk powder to regular milk as below:
1tbsp d.m.p+3/4 cup water=3/4 cup water.
½ cup d.m.p+2 cup water =2 cup milk.
1 cup d.m.p+4 cup water=4 cup milk.
¼ cup d.m.p+ 1 cup water=1 cup milk.

2. Coconut Milk Powder

Coconut Milk Powder

It is considered much heavier than dairy milk powder and is relatively high in fat, with a cup serving to provide about 5.08g of saturated fat and serves as a suitable substitute, especially for people with food allergies and vegans. It is made by spray-drying coconut cream or coconut milk and should not be confused with desiccated milk.

Since it has high oil content, it’s much more suited for making concentrations of coconut milk and best for baking recipes meat, fish, curry, or even adding a little to your smoothie. The natural fatty acid profile of coconut milk has an amazing moisturizing effect and restores both dry hair and a dry scalp too. Fresh coconut milk is made by simply soaking finely grated coconut flesh into some warm water and squeezing to obtain a whitish fluid.

The fluid is then refrigerated to obtain two layers, which are then separated. The thick upper layer(creamy) serves as well. In case of a casein allergy or lactose intolerance, read labels well since some coconut milk powder may contain sodium caseinate. Alternatively, one can also try already canned coconut milk.

3. Soy Milk

Soy Milk

The soy milk is basically extracted from the soybean using similar techniques as the ancient ones and has the water removed to serves as another good replacement for powdered milk. It is white in color and mixes well with both warm and cold water. It can be plain, flavored, or combined with extra ingredients like calcium and sugar. It’s not bulky and hence easier to store or even transport. It is readily available in some mainstream grocers or even online.

However, it should be noted that soy powder needs to be kept in the freezer or a refrigerator. It comes in handy, especially in soy powder based recipes, making smoothies, desserts, etc. It contains naturally occurring phytoestrogens and isoflavones(antioxidants), which are beneficial for heart and bone health, plus it’s cholesterol-free. It’s also a good source of vegetable protein.

People are also known to use it for skincare by incorporating a little in a warm bath for softening the skin and hair appearance. Consuming soy is also deemed useful for women during and after menopause.

4. Potato Milk Powder

Potato Milk

Classified as non-dairy powdered milk and available in both original and chocolate potato milk powder, it has myriad health benefits as it is soy-free, cholesterol-free, fat-free, gluten-free, and casein-free and hence contains no proteins but is a good source of vitamin D and B12. Potato milk is usually sold in powder form and easily mixed with water to form liquid milk. One can also make his/her own potato milk by blending cooked potatoes and water with a sweetener.

It serves better when in cereals, potato-based recipes, or even beverages. One shortcoming of potato milk is that it doesn’t contain protein and hence won’t be able to provide the same level of nutrients available in the fortified commercial brands. However, one can easily add almonds to their DIY potato milk to fortify it with calcium.

5. Rice Milk Powder

Rice Milk Powder

It is another diary substitute good for people who suffer from PKU (Phenylketonuria), allergic to soy or milk, or just generally lactose intolerance and consists of boiled rice, brown rice syrup and contains a lot of carbohydrates and fiber found in whole brown rice, gluten-free with very little amounts of cholesterol and calcium. Slightly sweeter than dairy milk, it is good for baking, cereals, coffee, smoothies, or even tea, and recommended to substitute an equal amount of rice milk powder as milk powder called for and to premix it with water before use. It is available in some natural stores or can even be shopped online.

After looking at these great alternatives for powdered milk, one will definitely be forgiven for thinking that we didn’t need the powdered milk in the first place. While we’ve been agonizing, there is so much we could have done with the dry milk substitutes listed above.


All said and done, we can hit the kitchen and simply use all the above dry milk substitutes to a great deal and make our recipes even more interesting. One can start by using a recipe they are familiar with before advancing to the complicated ones, but one who has spent a substantial amount in the same kitchen would agree that there is no single ingredient in a recipe that cannot be substituted.

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