The Making of Dry Milk

As chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Quality Milk Sales, Rance Miles oversees the production of dry milk and other dairy products. Rance Miles also holds executive and board positions with several other producers of milk products.

The process of making dry milk begins when deliveries of fresh milk arrive at the creamery for quality testing. After testing is complete, the milk passes through an evaporator, which increases the percentage of solids in the milk to about 50 percent. The milk also undergoes pasteurization as it travels through the evaporator, after which time it goes through a separator to remove the butterfat.

The newly skimmed milk then undergoes standardization, which ensures that the percentage of solids remains consistent across each product. The condensed milk then becomes powdered milk, which can happen via one of several processes. One of the most common is spray-drying, which uses moving hot air to take the remaining water out of the milk. Drying may also take place using a heated drum, which removes moisture via electric current, or through the use of a compact dryer system that converts the milk into extremely fine droplets.