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Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk, also known as dehydrated milk, is a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk. It differs from sweetened condensed milk, which contains added sugar. Sweetened condensed milk requires less processing since the added sugar inhibits bacterial growth.

The actual liquid portion of the product takes up half the space of fresh milk. When the non-liquid product is mixed with a proportionate amount of water, evaporated milk becomes the equivalent of fresh milk.

This makes evaporated milk attractive for shipping purposes and can have a shelf life of months or even years, depending upon the brand. This made evaporated milk very popular before refrigeration was a safe and reliable substitute for perishable fresh milk, that could be shipped easily to locations lacking the means of safe milk production or storage.

Households in the western world use it most often today for desserts and baking due to its unique flavor. It is also used as a substitute for pouring cream, as an accompaniment to desserts, or (undiluted) as a rich substitute for milk.

The process involves the evaporation of about half the water from the milk, after which the product is homogenized, canned, and sterilized.

Definition
Evaporated milk is fresh, homogenized milk from which 60 percent of the water has been removed. After the water has been removed, the product is chilled, stabilized, packaged and sterilized. It is commercially sterilized at 240-245 degrees F. for 15 minutes. A slightly caramelized flavor results from the high heat process, and it is slightly darker in color than fresh milk. The evaporation process also concentrates the nutrients and the food energy. Thus, for the same weight, undiluted evaporated milk contains more food energy than fresh milk.

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