Evaporated milk

Evaporated milk. Liquid food obtained by the partial removal of water only from milk. Contains not less than 6.5% by weight of milk fat , not less than 16.5% by weight of fat in milk solids, and not less than 23% by weight of total milk solids… It is homogenized. It is sealed in a container … processed by heat … to prevent waste.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Production process
  • 3 Diversity
  • 4 Nutritional value
  • 5 Use in the kitchen
  • 6 Quality criteria in the purchase and conservation
  • 7 Sources


Condensed milk was introduced to the US by Gail Borden which he did through a process under a patent issued on August 19 , 1856 . It became popular with those people who were away from farm sources, since it was capable of long-term storage.

The invention of evaporated milk followed three decades later when John B. Meyenberg immigrated to the United States where he had devised the process, but had no help starting production. He obtained the two United States patents for his process and sterilization apparatus, published on November 25 , 1884 .

He formed Helvetia Milk Condensing Company on February 14 , 1885 , with a number of farmers, and businessmen from Mountain, Illinois , as shareholders.

By June 14 , 1885 , “First Canned Mountain Evaporated Cream” was ready to be put on.

There were teething problems with the new product, especially since premature wastes were frequent in the early batches. Over the years, upcoming Louis Latzer and Dr. Werner Schmidt identified and fixed the problems due to bacteria. Through John Wilde’s marketing efforts, the company eventually became very successful as Pet, Inc. and is now part of General Mills.

John P. Meyenberg, son of John B. Meyenberg, was the first American to evaporate goat’s milk. He started the Meyenberg business in 1934 to supply other goat dairy products that are easier to digest than cow milk, and a necessary alternative for people like himself who were allergic to cow’s milk.

Elaboration process

The partial dehydration of milk consists of eliminating part of the constitution water of the same to increase its shelf life. Due to the decrease in the water content that occurs in the food , microbial growth and enzyme activity are inhibited.

In addition, it reduces the weight and volume of the new product compared to the original, so transportation and storage costs are reduced.

In the dairy industry, the partial reduction of the constitution water is carried out by means of a concentration process by evaporation and thus the concentrated milk is obtained.

However, this product does not have a long shelf life, since the reduction in humidity it experiences is not enough to prevent the growth of microorganisms. For this reason, for its commercialization it is necessary to apply to the concentrated milk an additional conservation treatment, which is sterilization, and it can be the classic or UHT. In this way, evaporated milk is obtained.

The classic sterilization consists in subjecting the milk to temperatures of around 115ºC for about 15 minutes. It has the disadvantage that it considerably reduces the vitamin content compared to the milk of origin.

With UHT (Ultra Hight Temperature) sterilization, milk reaches temperatures of 140-150ºC, for 2 to 16 seconds, with the advantage that it maintains practically all the nutritional value compared to the original milk.

In both cases, the result is a liquid and homogeneous product, with a soft aroma, yellowish color and whose volume is approximately half that of the starting milk. Once reconstituted by adding water, a product is obtained with the same characteristics as liquid milk with the corresponding fat percentage.


Depending on its fat content, we find on the market evaporated milk rich in fat, whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed. Although less frequent, you can also find flavored evaporated milk , with added authorized aromas and dyes to provide aroma and flavor to the product.

Nutritional value

Evaporated milk is a concentrated milk , making it a product with a high nutritional density, since the solids of the starting milk are dissolved in a smaller amount of water (therefore, at the same volume, a greater concentration of nutrients) .

Although, once reconstituted, it should be similar in terms of nutritional composition to the starting milk, nutritional losses may occur during the process of obtaining, depending on the sterilization method applied.

With classical sterilization, there is a loss of water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B2 and B3, as well as some amino acids (basic components of proteins). However, if UHT sterilization is used, practically no nutrients are lost, since milk is in contact with high temperatures for a very short time.

However, nutritional loss occurs as a consequence of the evaporation process itself, although it can be considered minimal.

Use in the kitchen

To consume evaporated milk as a substitute for conventional milk, it is necessary to add the same amount of water as that eliminated during its obtaining process (the manufacturer must record on the label the steps to follow when reconstituting evaporated milk). Once reconstituted, it is a product similar to the starting milk.

Often evaporated milk is used to make recipes, and these are favored by the high nutritional density of the product.

It is mainly used in baking and as a base for various sauces. When adding sugar to these preparations, it should be borne in mind that the sweet taste of evaporated milk is more intense than that of traditional milk.

Quality criteria in the purchase and conservation

In the market, evaporated milk is marketed in Tetrarex containers, similar to brick but in a longer and narrower format, although sometimes it is also presented in cans or tubes.

Once the container is opened, the evaporated milk has a soft aroma, a yellowish color and a homogeneous and totally liquid consistency.

Evaporated milk is not a perishable product so it remains in good condition for several months. When the container has not yet been opened, it is sufficient to store it in a cool place protected from light .

However, once opened it can be easily contaminated, so it should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within approximately 3-4 days.


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