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
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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