To produce condensed milk, you need to remove a large portion of the water content from the milk. Usually, you add sugar to it to create a sweet flavor. First, milk is standardized and pasteurized. Then, it goes through an evaporation process to remove the excess water content while sugar is added. After that, the mixture undergoes homogenization. The condensed milk is cooled and crystallized before being ready for packaging.
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Using evaporation in the condensed milk production
Raw milk is standardized and moved to a pasteurizer to remove harmful bacteria. From here, the pasteurized milk passes through an evaporator which heats up the milk at a lower pressure. At this stage, the boiling temperature of milk is also lower. This makes the water evaporate faster and results in concentrated milk. Then you add sugar to the concentrated milk to give it a sweet flavor and help improve its shelf life. The mixture goes through a homogenizer to obtain a smooth texture. After that, the condensed milk is cooled until crystallization occurs. The condensed milk will then be poured into sterilized cans and vacuum sealed for safety.
The dairy-free substitute of sweet, condensed milk
Condensed milk contains about 40%-45% of sugar, or nearly half. For other consumers who prefer a dairy-free diet such as vegans, lactose-intolerant people, or even those who are transitioning to plant-based diet instead of meat, there is an option of using coconut condensed milk. This product uses coconut milk rather than cow’s milk in its blend. The manufacturing process between traditional condensed milk and coconut condensed milk differs in the extraction process of the milk. You can extract coconut milk using a mechanical press of grated coconut kernel mixed with water. From extraction of coconut milk, the process is the same as regular condensed milk: you add sugar and homogenize the mix.
Sweet condensed milk packed inside
There are two packaging options available for condensed milk in the market: either cans or cartons. You can find both available in different sizes. Carton packaging can have different shapes depending on manufacturer designs. They are both filled with condensed milk and sealed in an aseptic environment to prevent contamination. After sealing, they are sterilized in a sterilizing unit, like an autoclave, before they are packed and stored for shipment.
Standard procedure for safe and clean output
As with all dairy products, packaging is an important part of the process: proper packaging guarantees safe products for consumption. The equipment, containers, and environment must be thoroughly cleaned after use since dairy products are prone to contamination from bacteria and other microorganisms. The process may start with a pre-heating unit, or directly in a sterilizing unit and autoclave. Sterilization is essential in the packaging of food products since it applies heat at a certain amount of time to remove harmful bacteria after the filling and sealing process.