With the right processing machines, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, coconuts and hazelnuts can turn into healthy plant-based milk. To produce it, grind the nuts, screen and mix them till you obtain a milky white liquid.
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Using plant-based milk processing machines
Plant-based milk is now top-selling plant-based milk that is rich in both flavour and texture. The search for plant-based healthy milk is increasing in the US and other countries, as it is lower in calories and saturated fat than cow milk. Plant based milk in US is expected to reach $21.52 billion in 2024, and it is growing at an annual growth rate of 10.18%.
You can create pure nut milk, or you could blend it with cow milk. If you want it pure, grind the nuts and water in a colloid mill, then filter the milk with a mesh sieve. Lastly, use a sterilizer to remove bacteria from the plant-based milk and fill it into bottles. For the blended version, mix cow milk with the nuts before grinding.
Emulsifiers like sunflower lecithin help the milk to stay well dispersed, giving the milk a consistent texture. A peeling machine helps you to separate the nut kernels from the skin, while a milk maker crushes the nut to extract the milk. This apples to all different types of nuts such as almonds, cashews, pine nuts and hazelnuts.
The importance of sterilizing plant-based milk
Sterilization is essential in plant-based milk production because it kills the microorganisms that are present in the milk. So when you package the product, it can stay for up to 6 months on the shelves.
There are some precautionary actions you need to take to sterilize the plant-based milk. If your product is made from nuts, you first need to ensure that you are not using rancid or contaminated nuts. Always use fresh nuts. To keep the nuts fresh for up to 3 months, store them in airtight containers.
Secondly, you need to ensure that the nuts are washed with filtered water before grinding. Next, sterilize the milk by heating it in sealed containers continuously at 115° C for at least 15 minutes.
Effect of plant-based milk production on the environment
In the last 5 years, the production and sales of almond milk have grown 250% to more than $894.6 million. This means that plant-based milk has become a popular choice for both vegans and those that want to reduce carb intake. Plant-based milk is nutritious, low in calories and doesn’t raise blood sugar. Commercial production is making a lot of people choose a healthier lifestyle.
The only downside of plant-based milk production is that it is taking a toll on the environment. It takes 16 gallons of water just to produce 16 almonds, making almonds a water-intensive crop. Micro irrigation is now used as an alternative to reduce the amount of water used for almond production. Additionally, the pesticides used for the commercial production of almonds contaminates the limited water sources and toxifies drinking water for people in farming communities.