Preserving milk by the way of sterilizing evaporated milk traces its history back to the 1850’s. Unsweetened condensed milk, which is also known as double concentrated milk is usually light in color and resembles cream in its appearance. It is mostly used as a substitute for fresh milk. The basic difference between condensed milk and unsweetened milk is the sugar content in it. As the name suggests, condensed milk is the sweetened version, and the evaporated milk is unsweetened. Evaporated milk is made by heating milk until 60% of water has evaporated. It is then homogenized, packed and sterilized and takes the form of dense, creamy, concentrated milk that is canned and shipped. Evaporated milk is habitually used to augment taste in frozen desserts, custards, pie fillings, etc.
Production and Export of Unprocessed Milk
Initially, the milk is standardized followed by a heat treatment, which is done to destroy the microorganisms in the milk and to stabilize it. This is done to avoid coagulation in the next process. The heat-treated product is pumped into an evaporator to concentrate it. Then the concentrated milk is homogenized and cooled. Usually, a stabilizing agent called di-sodium or tri-sodium phosphate is added to this. Evaporation should take place at a temperature ranging between 65-70 degrees centigrade as heat resistant bacteria would grow below 65 degrees of temperature, which would spoil the entire process. Thus, precise control of bacteria plays a vital role in the entire manufacturing process. The evaporated product, which is the unsweetened milk is finally packed in sterilized cans and shipped. Canned product now takes up about nine-tenths of condensed milk.
Unprocessed milk and cream are the world’s 1392nd product and 3254th most complex product as per the Product Complexity Index (PCI). Germany, France, and Belgium are the top three exporters respectively in the world. Germany exported a worth of $1,263,867,000 of unprocessed milk in the year 2015. While France exported $713,396,000 of milk throughout the world, Belgium exports $618,998,000 of unprocessed milk in various countries. The milk exports scaled down by an average of 18.1% as milk shipments were valued at $8.8 billion. Countries that saw a decline in their export sales were the United Kingdom by -37.9%, Netherlands by -31.7%, Germany by -28.5%, and France by -28.2%. Export volume of evaporated milk in France increased to 142,000 tons in 2011 and then declined approximately to 72,000 tons by 2014. On the other hand, the export volume of cream nearly tripled during 2008-2011.
Uses of Unprocessed Milk
Unprocessed milk has vitamins like A, D, and C in its final product. Long shelf life of the milk adds to its advantage and does not require refrigeration. It is also available in skim, low-fat and whole milk varieties. As this can be used as a substitute for fresh milk, it is of great use for the people with no access to fresh milk. The major advantage of unsweetened milk over condensed milk is that it can be used in both sweets and savories. The dairy industry has evolved over the years and has resulted in an integrated cooperative system of milk collection, processing and conversion of the same into different milk products.