Can It Be? Powdered Milk That Actually Tastes Like Milk?

Supermarket chains and food distributors could save a lot of energy, ergo money, if milk didn't need to be refrigerated. Since hardly anyone enjoys the gooey taste of canned milk--or ice creams and cheeses made from it--the Dairy Research Foundation has teamed up with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Energy Dept. to apply a new freeze-drying technique developed by Grenco Process Technology, a Dutch company.

The freeze-concentration approach converts milk into a crystalline powder by freezing the milk's water content and removing the ice. When reconstituted by adding water, the resulting milk has a rich taste that's at least as good as whole milk, and some people like it better, say researchers at EPRI in Palo Alto, Calif. Yet it contains less fat and fewer calories. Next month, Galloway-West Co., a dairy in Fond du Lac, Wis., will begin commercial-scale tests of the process, and consumer products could be available within two years. EPRI adds that the freeze-dry method also shows promise for treating industrial waste water and even chemical wastes.

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