Condensed milk

Condensed milk. Cow’s milk from which water is extracted and sugar added , resulting in a thick, sweet-tasting product that can be kept for several years in a package without refrigeration until it has been opened.


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  • 1 History
    • 1 Process
    • 2 Applications
    • 3 Production and consumption data
  • 2 Sources


Nicolás Appert invented condensed milk in 1820 , Gail Borden , Jr. in 1852 , because normal milk did not store well without refrigeration for more than a few hours. In the 19th century, food poisoning caused by milk consumption was frequent due to contamination of milk by bacteria during the milking process of cows and the precariousness of conservation processes.

While returning from a trip to England in 1851 . Borden was impressed by the deaths of several children, apparently due to spoiled cow’s milk. Investigating for less than a year and studying his own faults and those of others, Borden found inspiration in an evaporation capsule that he had seen the Shakers use to condense juice, and was able to reduce milk without burning or curdling it. Despite this, its first two factories were unsuccessful and only the third, built with its new partner, Jeremiah Milbank , in Wassaic, New York , produced a durable milk derivative that did not need refrigeration. Borden obtained a manufacturing patent in1856 and founded the New York Condensed Milk Company in 1857 .

The federal government of the United States asked him for huge amounts as a field ration during the war, and the soldiers who returned home acted as word of mouth advertising . In the late 1860s, milk represented a major industry. Eagle Brand is considered to be the oldest brand of food products that still exists today. Condensed milk became known in Europe in 1866 , thanks to Cham’s facilities in Switzerland .

Although there have been unsweetened condensed milk products, they spoiled much more easily and are rare today. Condensed milk is used in numerous desserts from many places, including Brazil , Hong Kong, and Russia , where it is known as “сгущёнка” (sguschyonka, literally “what is thick”). A related product is evaporated milk, which has undergone a more complex process and is not sugary. In Germany , evaporated milk is much more common than condensed milk (and the term Kondensmilch refers to evaporated milk ).


The extraction of the water is carried out by means of a reduced pressure (approximately 0.5 atmospheres ) until obtaining a thick liquid , with a density of approximately 1.3 g / ml. This subtraction of water is known by the names of thickening, concentration and condensation. Then sugar is added , in a proportion that goes from 30% (if the raw material is whole milk) to 50% (if it is skim milk).

It is subjected to a heat treatment, in order to guarantee the stability of the food at room temperature, while the container is closed. Sweetened condensed milk, unlike unsweetened, does not undergo subsequent sterilization. The high concentration of sugar should by itself prevent the development of the germs that remain in the milk after preheating. If it is heated for several hours in a water bath, condensed milk caramelises forming what is called dulce de leche. This process can be dangerous because unopened cans can explode during this operation.

A similar product is powdered milk , which is also dehydrated milk, but to which no sugar is added. In this case, absolutely all the water is extracted and then pulverized, leaving a light ivory-colored powder.


Different desserts contain condensed milk and it is also a key ingredient in certain coffee presentations such as Sua Da coffee (a type of Vietnamese coffee) or bonbon coffee (coffee with condensed milk). In other countries, condensed milk is used in countless gastronomic pastry recipes that are extremely easy to prepare, as well as delicious such as rice pudding , cream, etc. In Venezuela it is used in the production of Quesillo, as well as for dressing chicha and granita (called raspados, cepillados or esnovol). In Peru it is used in the preparation of rice pudding, it is a dessert prepared with rice , milk, and cinnamon .

Production and consumption data

World production of condensed milk amounts to 4,204,000 tons ( 1996 data ). The main producer is the United States (872,000 tons), followed by Germany (538,000 tons) and the Netherlands (330,000 tons). Brazil is the largest condensed milk market in the world and the product is widely used in the preparation of typical desserts and drinks.

Condensed milk is used in the recipe of the popular sweet brigadeiro in which condensed milk is the main ingredient (the most famous brand of condensed milk in Brazil is Leite Moça, [Leche Moza], the local version of the commercialized Milch Mädchen Switzerland by Nestlé ), lemon pie, key lime pie, candy and other desserts.

In some parts of Asia and Europe , condensed milk is preferred to add to coffee or teh Tarik. Nestlé has even produced a jar similar to Smucker’s jars of jam to use as well.

In Argentina , condensed milk is mixed with evaporated milk and eggs, served with a spoon over narrow metal containers with liquid caramelized sugar, creating a flan.

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