Skimmed Milk Powder is obtained by removing water from pasteurized skim milk. It contains 5% or less moisture (by weight) and 1.5% or less milkfat (by weight) and a minimum milk protein content of 34%. The powder should be stored under cool, dry conditions and should be protected from contact with water during storage. With its low moisture content, chemical reactions in skim milk powder stored at room temperature take place so slowly that the nutritive value is not affected, even after years of storage.
Uses of Skimmed milk powder
Used in aerated confections such as malted milk and nougat centers. Addition of SMP stabilizes foam structure by preventing air bubbles from collapsing. SMP also lends a desirable light dairy flavour, helps control sucrose crystallization (due to its lactose content), and binds water to produce the firm, chewy texture of confectionary centers. The firm structure and increased stability from SMP also allows the confectionery centers to withstand high temperatures and enrobing process conditions.
In caramel confections, the SMP is key in the colour formation due to both the caramelization of the lactose present and the Maillard reaction of the lactose and amino acids (protein) in SMP. SMP is used to produce milk chocolate for its distinct flavour and smooth milky texture characteristics.
Also used frequently in soft sweets and various confection coatings.
Sports and Nutrition Foods
The highly nutritional value of SMP makes it an excellent ingredient for many athletic foods such as nutrition bars and beverages. SMP provides the protein, vitamin (except for fat soluble vitamins) and mineral content (such as calcium) required as well as functional properties such as water binding, thickening, emulsification and flavour.
Many new beverage applications include SMP as a natural source of calcium to fortify the beverage. Mouthfeel, flavour and colour are also notable contributions from SMP in beverage products.
The nutritive value of SMP is the key consideration when formulating food for infants. These infant formulas containing SMP are used as a nutritious substitute for mother’s milk.
Commonly used in many bakery products such as breads, cakes, doughnuts, rolls etc. to add nutritive value (flour lacks some essential amino acids and minerals), improve flavour, enhance browning (presence of lactose), and improve water binding capacity allowing the bakery product to remain fresh longer. In cakes, SMP has also been shown to stabilize the batter and improve tenderness.
Found in cocoa mixes and other hot beverage mixes to impart a smooth creamy mouthfeel and enhance the flavour. In dry mixes where whipping or foaming is required, SMP provides essential proteins to act as emulsifiers to stabilize and ensure proper whipping and foaming. SMP adds mouthfeel, emulsification, colour, and flavour to dairy-based dry mixes such as sauces, soups and salad dressings.
Fermented Milk Products
Improves the taste and mouthfeel of fermented dairy products such as sour cream. Source of dairy solids in products such as low-fat yogurts, cheeses and cultured skim milk. Ice Cream and Frozen Dairy Desserts Important source of non-fat milk solids in ice cream, sherbets, frozen yogurts and other dairy desserts. Standardization is commonly practiced in dairy products to adjust the protein-to-fat ratio. Proteins in SMP aid to stabilize the ice cream by forming a stable film around the air bubbles produced during manufacture.
Cheese Analogues/Processed Cheese
Due to its casein protein content, SMP can be used. Rennet, acidification, heat treatment or other factors can be used to coagulate the casein present in SMP, producing the characteristic semi-firm gel of cheese-type products.
SMP improves the overall flavour and colour of meat products such as processed deli meats, sausages, smoked meats, etc. The water-binding capacity of SMP allows the meat products to retain moisture, giving them a plump appearance and leads to less shrinkage and leaking, improved slicing qualities and increased yield.