Milk without water. The first milk powder was developed in the 1860s for baby food. Today, it is impossible to imagine the food industry without powdered milk. And the alternative to fresh milk or oat drinks is also becoming increasingly popular in private households. Why the production of cow's milk powder is paradox and oat drinks from oat powder is a natural and a less resource-intensive process, we will explain to you here.
Dried milk powder: production and use
Cow's milk powder is a dry milk mass which mixed with water, makes milk again. The basis of the powder is milk.
Cow's milk is obtained by milking dairy cows and further processing by dairy factories. In its natural form, whole milk consists of up to 90% water, but there is a distinction between so-called free and non-free water. To produce dry milk powder, the free water must be removed from the milk so that the water content is minimized to the non-free part (3%). To do this, the milk - either whole milk or low-fat milk - is first gently heated so that as few ingredients as possible are lost. Most of the water already evaporates in this process. The concentrate is then further dried through spray drying until the dry mass is produced. 6 to 7 liters of milk are needed for 1 kg of milk powder.
Milk powder is mainly used in the food industry as it is cheaper than fresh milk. Here it is used to produce cheese, yoghurt, confectionery and bakery products, instant baby food, chocolate and also long-life and weight-reduced products.
Vegan milk powder from oats: production and use
The production of milk from dried milk powder is paradoxical: liquid milk is dried and then enriched with water again. The preparation of oat milk from oat powder is the exact opposite: First a powder is extracted from the dry oats, to which water is then added later. Oat milk from oat powder is therefore more natural and fresher than cow's milk from the dry milk mass described above is.
There are different manufacturing processes for oat powder, which differ in their complexity. In the process used by Blue Farm, the oats are hydrolyzed and fermented, no additives such as binders and stabilizers are used and only salt is added. For 1 kg of oat powder, the process requires about 1.3 kg of oats and about 3 liters of water.
By adding water, the powder turns into oat drink. This is used in coffees, mueslis and also generally for cooking and baking.
Advantages and disadvantages of milk powder and oat powder
The production and use of milk powder and oat powder has advantages and disadvantages compared to the bottled "Ready-To-Drink" versions.
One of the advantages of milk powder or oat powder is its long shelf life: the dry versions can be stored for up to 6 months, even after being opened, which means that the powder can be stored for a long time and without refrigeration. Due to the smaller volume of the powder in contrast to fresh milk or oat milk, storage costs and transportation costs are lower. In addition, the powder is more hygienic than the fresh version because it is less susceptible to germ formation in the dry state.
Cow's milk prepared to dry milk contains fewer vitamins than fresh liquid milk, as these are lost in the drying process. It is also inferior to fresh milk in terms of taste and quality. Heating makes the energy consumption for the production of cow's milk powder very high.
With oat powder, on the other hand, all nutrients are retained and the oat drink prepared with oat powder tastes like fresh oat drink. The energy input is low due to the simple manufacturing process.
Oat drinks made from oat powder like the Oat Base are naturally fresh, environmentally friendly and practical - not just in everyday life, where you can store the Oat Base at home like flour, salt and sugar. Oat Base can also be an integral part for travelling, such as on long trekking tours or boat trips where luggage space is limited.
While cow's milk powder is made from liquid milk, oat powder is made directly from the dry base, the oats. And this is also the case with the dry variants of other plant drinks: The plant as a base is processed into a concentrate or powder, which can then be enriched with water. This makes the production of dry variants of plant drinks, whether oats, cashew or soy, the natural variation.