How To Tell If Powdered Milk Is Bad?

Any powdered milk that develops an off-odor or a yellow hue should be discarded. These are indicators that the milk has gone spoiled. You may be dealing with mold and bacteria growth if the package has been exposed to dampness. If you have any doubts, it’s best to toss them. Don’t be upset about ruined milk! Ensure the leftovers are in an airtight container or bag once you’ve opened the container or bag.

It takes a long time for powdered milk to go rancid. Powdered milk (also known as dried milk) should be used within 18 months of purchase; however, this is merely a “best by” date. Powdered milk, according to the USDA, can be stored indefinitely. After the printed “best by” date, an unopened item is likely viable for another 2 to 10 years.

powder milk

When dried milk is devoid of moisture and oxygen, it lasts longer. It will last longer if it is still in its original packaging and has not been opened. You’ve effectively reduced its shelf life by transferring it to a storage plastic container or bag. The general rule is that unsealed containers should be used within three months.

What Is Powdered Milk?

Powdered milk is made from pasteurized low-fat milk with its water removed. During this process, low-fat milk is pasteurized at high temperatures. Vacuum evaporation removes most of the water, the remaining extracted through spray drying.

Powdered milk is an excellent addition to any emergency survival supplies as it has a decent shelf life and requires only water to produce milk that can be used in any circumstance where you need fresh milk. The United States is one of the leading milk powder providers in the world. More than eighty plants supply 10% of the world’s milk powder production.

How To Tell If Powder Milk Is Bad?

Here are some clear signs to tell if powdered milk is gone bad:


The first change you’ll notice in your powder milk after it’s been opened and not properly stored is a shift in color from light creamy to dark yellow. This indicates that moisture has reached the surroundings of the milk powder.

Rancid Smell

The creation of gases that smell unpleasant and affect the fresh scent of milk powder will result from the color shift. Typically, milk powder smells like milk but with a creamier texture, while ruined milk has no resemblance to milk or cream.

Mold Formation

Molds may now increase in this environment, making it ideal for reproduction. Once the powder has started to degrade, green or greyish brown mold will appear.

Insects Crawling

Don’t be alarmed if you discover insects crawling around inside your jar and swimming in the milk powder. These insects are not harmful, but they harm powder milk and render it unfit for consumption.

If your powdered milk exhibits any of the above symptoms, it’s time to replace it. These modifications in milk powder should not be avoided because they can cause significant health problems, including food poisoning or allergies.

How Long Does Dry Powdered Milk Last?

Powdered milk usually lasts for months, if not years, after the expiration date on the package. It should be okay to use as long as the powder isn’t ruined. However, keep in mind that vitamin content declines over time.

  • Like ordinary dairy milk, Powdered milk has a best-by date printed on the label. That date for dried milk estimates how long the product will keep its optimal quality. And it’s a pretty safe bet.
  • Some businesses claim their powdered milk has a two-year shelf life, while others claim it has a five-year shelf life. Even survival businesses sell dried milk that is said to last a quarter-century.
  • However, you should know that nonfat dry milk preserves its quality longer than whole dry milk.
  • The former has no dietary fat, making it more stable. Last, there’s the issue of nutritional worth to consider.
  • While many nutrients, such as carbs, protein, fat (if any), and minerals, can last for years, you can’t say the same for vitamins.

How Do You Preserve Milk Powder?

Dry milk storage isn’t complex. Like other powders, you already know that it doesn’t like moisture, so keep it dry. The powder is extremely sensitive to heat, so find an excellent location. A pantry cabinet or shelf appears to be the best option. It’s also good to keep the powder out of direct sunlight, but the opaque packaging typically takes care of it.

Once you’ve opened the package or container, ensure the remaining powder is appropriately packed. So, if it was a paper package, put the remaining in a freezer bag or an airtight container and firmly seal it before putting it away. Put the container in a dark spot if it’s transparent.

Another alternative for storing a powdered milk box that has been opened is to freeze it. Powdered milk loses flavor considerably more quickly after opening, so freezing it might be the best way to keep it fresh. Place the powder-filled container or bag in the freezer to complete the process. Before you do that, make sure it’s completely sealed. There’s no need to defrost; take what you need with a spoon and use it.

Can I Keep Powdered Milk In The Freezer?

Yes, you can freeze opened powdered milk to increase its shelf life. Place the opened powdered milk in sealed, airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Storing powdered milk in the freezer is a great way to extend the shelf life of your dry milk and keep it safe to eat for years.

Ensure the packaging is tightly sealed to achieve the most extraordinary long-term milk storage. Your powdered milk is at risk of freezer burn if the packaging has even a tiny opening.

It will keep its finest quality for around three years if properly preserved, although it will be safe for much longer. The freezer time indicated is for optimal quality only; powdered milk kept frozen at 0° F for an extended period will keep eternally.

How Can You Enhance Your Nutrition By Powdered Milk?

Here are seven ways to use dried milk powder to improve the nutritional value of your family’s meals:

  • Oatmeal or grits are cooked cereals. To each cup of dry cereal, add 12 cups of nonfat dry milk powder. When cooking the cereal, use the same amount of water as directed on the package.
  • Smoothies. Mix in 1 or 2 teaspoons of nonfat dry milk powder per serving for a more decadent, more nutritious smoothie.
  • Coffee or tea are both acceptable options. Non-dairy creamer can be replaced with nonfat dry milk powder.
  • Biscuits, muffins, pancakes, yeast pieces of bread, cookies, and cakes are all baked goods. For each cup of fluid milk, add 14 cups of nonfat dry milk powder.
  • Soup from a can. Add 12 cups of nonfat dry milk powder when rehydrating canned soup with water.
  • Potatoes mashed. 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder + 14 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • Puddings, custards, gravies, and sauces are all examples of desserts. To each cup of water or broth, add 12 cups of nonfat dry milk powder.
  • Dry milk powder should be on your grocery list, whether shopping for weekly groceries or putting together a food emergency kit. It’s shelf-stable, and if kept in a cool, dry place like your pantry, it can last up to 24 months.


If you want to maintain the flavor for longer, you can freeze the powder in that container. After opening a package of dry milk, put the powder into a firmly closed glass or metal container and store it in the refrigerator (dry milk can absorb aromas from plastic containers). Nonfat dry milk can be kept for a few months if it is not sealed, while dry whole milk can be kept for a few weeks if it is not sealed.