Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Powdered Milk

Following are questions often asked about long-term storage of powdered milk for a family's supply of food;
What kind of milk is best to store?
Non-fat milk, either regular or instant, stores well when packaged properly and kept at room temperature or cooler. In the past, many felt that non-instant milk would store better. There is little difference in shelf life between instant and non-instant powder.
What are the best containers?
Milk stored in airtight, low-oxygen packaging has been found to last longer and retain a fresher taste than milk stored in boxes or plastic bags.
How long can powdered milk be stored?
Optimal storage life on non-fat dry milk stored at room temperature is three years before the milk begins to taste stale. However, when stored at cooler temperatures, it can be kept much longer. You can rotate powdered milk by using yourself or by giving it to others who will use it.
How much powdered milk should be stored?
LDS guidelines recommend that you store an equivalent of about 75 pounds (approx 34 kilograms) of dry milk per person per year.
However, since that time, a US government study on nutritional adequacy during periods of food shortage has recommended 16 pounds (approx 7 kilograms) per family member per year. Equivalent to approximately one glass of milk a day, that amount will maintain minimum health standards. Keep in mind, however, that children and pregnant or nursing mothers will require more than the minimum amount of stored milk. Families who opt to store only the minimum 7 kgs of milk per person should also increase storage of grains from the recommended 136 kgs to 181kgs per person to compensate nutritionally for the smaller amounts of milk.
What should I do with milk that is past its prime shelf life?
Milk develops off flavours as it ages. However, it still retains some nutritional value, and unless spoilage has occurred from moisture, insects, rodents or contamination, it is still safe to use.
What can be done with milk that is too old to drink?
It is important to rotate dry milk. Older dry milk may no longer be suitable for drinking, but it can be used in cooking as long as it has not spoiled. If powdered milk has spoiled, it can be used as fertiliser for the garden.
*This information is from 2002. More up to date information on food storage quantities etc. may be available.

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