Dry Milk

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I have just bought some non fat dry milk. I have read that it does not have a long shelf, so my questions are: (1) will it last longer if I package using vacuum sealed bags, or (2) packing in quart jars, and vacumm sealing? Any idea on how long it would stay fresh using either of these two methods?

Thanks in advance.


-- Mike (boxman@aol.com), April 09, 1999


What's the biz on the shelf life, Mike. I have not researched and have no clue about it. Is this for unopened cartons/boxes? Can you be more specific please....dang I love this forum,...so much great info.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), April 09, 1999.

I read an article in the backwoods mag that said, despite exp date, if kept in cool place, unopened, it stays fresh for several years. I personally had some that I bought in late 94. I forgot about it as it got moved to the back of the shelf. I opened it 2 months ago to see if it was still good. To my suprise it is fine. Am using it currently to get an idea how long it lasts open. It was from Kroger, their brand in a large box wrapped in waxy type paper with pour spout. (exp date was for 96 on the box)

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), April 09, 1999.

Thanks Dinty...that helps alot!!! Yourdonites...gotta love 'em!

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), April 09, 1999.

I bought a 50 LB bag of dry milk about 10 years ago. It is hard as a rock! However, I have bought an ice pick, in case I need to use it. How it will taste, I don't know. Will just have to take a chance.

-- smitty (smitty@sandiego.com), April 09, 1999.

Hi Mike, I did read somewhere that powdered milk does not have a long storage life the way it comes packaged from the store. (Foil lined box type). I bought mine and re-packaged it myself. I used mylar bags with ox. abs. and a dessicant to absorb moisture. Then placed into buckets. I have read that you can also store them in canning jars with ox. abs. and dessicants. Then place in dark room to keep the light out. The cooler and darker, the better! Mary

-- Mary Howe (doesnotmatter@thistime.com), April 09, 1999.

I tried to vac-pac dry milk in plastic bags. The vacuum doesn't work very well, like there's too much air in the milk to get it out. All of the packages went soft later. I'm just freezing them while we have electricity to use first. I've switched to buying canned milk for storage.

-- Daisy (field@flowers.com), April 09, 1999.

I bought boxes of foil packets of milk at WalMart. Then I put the packets in buckets with gamma lids and put in dark cool area. I was told never to buy it in the box, but in the packets. I use WalMart's brand.

Got chocolate syrup?

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), April 09, 1999.

Put the packet in the bucket with the gamma for the lid.

Thats the bucket with the packet with the ice pick for the lid?

NO! Put the packet with the vac pak in the bucket with the lid!

Place the vac pak with the packet and then tuck itin the buckets what I did?

Take the vak pak then you pack it then you sack it in the bucket then you tuck it off the grid

Sorry . . .

-- Danny Kaye (jerkenbeck@aol.com), April 09, 1999.

Sorry Donna, I can't seem to find my shelf life recommendation sheets (I've got to get organized better), but I'm pretty sure that the shelf life, unopened is less than 12 months. Opened, I have no idea without my sheets. I will keep looking, and if I can find the info, I will get back with you.

Thanks to all of you that have responded.

By the way, Mary, I wasn't aware that you could put the dessicants in with the food.

Daisy, I have a Food Saver, and it works great. It may be that since this is a powdered (or in my case, crystal) product, that you have some of the product right where the bag is being sealed. If it looks like this is happening with me, I add another seal slightly above the first seal.

-- Mike (Boxman9186@aol.com), April 09, 1999.

Mike, thanks. I'll try that.

-- Daisy (field@flower.com), April 09, 1999.

Mike, I put dessicants in all my food buckets to help control moisture. They are sealed packets esp. for placing in food. Just fill the mylar bag with powdered milk and put in one dessicant and an ox. ab. Iron the bag shut and put into the buckets. Hope that helps. Mary

-- Mary Howe (doesnotmatter@thistime.com), April 09, 1999.

Hi guys,

If you want to vacuum seal powdery stuff, put a paper napkin or piece of paper towel on top of the powdery stuff inside the bag. This prevents the suction from sucking powdered stuff into the sealing area.

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (dtmiller@nevia.net), April 09, 1999.

There is more than one kind of powdered milk. Some are just a milk type drink. The powdered non-fat milk in the box (such as carnation brand) are supposed to have a much shorter shelf life than the nonfat milk in a 50 lb. bag. There is also quite a difference in price and texture. (The bag is around $75 and is a heavy creamy rich colored powdery substance.) I have used carnation box type milk that is well over a year old for bread-making. It was kept in a pantry closet without any special prep. and it stored well. I am sure it probably lost some nutritional value, however. I imagine it would not have stored as well in high humidity.

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), April 10, 1999.

don't buy the milk in a box, buy it in the vacuum sealed bags and it will be good for a long time. i understand that the instant dried milk is deficient in the amino acid lysine, though, unlike regular milk.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), April 10, 1999.

Here are two places you can go to get good information:

http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/ff1-toc.htm The Food Storage FAQ - Table of Contents

http://www.ext.usu.edu/publica/foodpubs.htm Food Pubs

This site has good info on shelflife for a wide variety of foods:

http://www.glitchproof.com/glitchproof/storlifofgro.html Food Expiration Date

Good Luck.

-- LP (soldog@hotmail.com), April 10, 1999.

Here in the Great White North, I've only seen one kind of milk powder. I bought some about 3 years ago, I still have it, it is not hard and it still works fine in bread (what I bought it for). It sits in the cupboard above my stove, so it is dry and dark, but not especially cool. As Marsh said, it has quite likely lost some of its nutritional value, however, the calcium should be fine.

I don't really like the taste of it, so plan to mix it with canned milk to give it a creamier texture if I need to use it.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), April 10, 1999.

Here is a link to Alan Hagan's:

Food Storage Facts

It is an exceptional document. Please be patient as it takes time to transmit.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 10, 1999.

I have found several Y@k lists in the short time I've been coming here, which is a great indication that this forum really works for the newbie. The first one was Chilcoot Trail Supplies which I just gave to a Mexican friend of mine. By the way I think we all should take a look at that issue, in a new thread, helping our minority brothers and sisters learn what is available and for lack of a better phrase 'interpreting' for them. The one I picked out of my ever growing Y2K file is Ted Derryberry's Personal Y2K supplies. Although a bit overwhelming if taken in it's entirety, I have used the age old formula for basic survival FOOD-SHELTER-CLOTHING, but I have found it quite helpful and easy to use as a reference for future needs. I don't know how to link this yet (I think it is probably in my Netscape Composer as soon as I get the time to investigate. First Things First.) http://www.y2klinks.net/Y2Ksupplies.htm 'try it you'll like it Mikey'

-- spun@lright (mikeymac@uswest.net), April 10, 1999.

I am not part of your group, but tried to send a helpful hint about dry milk, (namely the taste) You can use Carnation coffee-mate non dairy creamer in warm water to help it mix. Use enough to get a full white color, and add sugar to taste. It sure beats the dry milk stuff, and comes in a jar ready to use with water, coffee, or to put in hot coco to give it that rich milk flavor. Try a small amount in a half cup of water, and see if this may work for you and your friends. It is also easy to get from stores.

-- Beth Susan Craig (craig@icu2.net), October 08, 1999.

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