U.S. Dairy Products > Milk Powders

Common Questions

Whole milk powder accounted for less than 3 percent of total U.S. milk powder production in 2013. The U.S. dairy industry is in the process of boosting production of whole milk powder including building brand new plants to serve global customers. Please check the U.S. Dairy Supplier Directory for whole milk powder suppliers as well as periodically check back for potential new suppliers as additional capacity comes on-line.

Nonfat dry milk (NDM) is classified as high-, medium- or low-heat, based on the level of heat treatment that it received before drying. The resulting level of undenatured whey protein is measured by the whey protein nitrogen (WPN) index, and is inversely related to structure development in bakery products. High-heat NDM, with a WPN index <=1.5, produces bread with the best volume.

The solubility index was developed by the American Dairy Products Institute. It measures the amount of product sediment after the application of low centrifugal forces under specified conditions-a high value indicates that the product is less soluble. Following are maximum values for various types of Non-fat Dry Milk (NDM).

This method may also be used to measure the solubility of dry whey, dry buttermilk and dry whole milk powder. Other methods for determining solubility of dairy proteins include the Nitrogen Solubility Index (NSI) and the Protein Dispersibility Index (PDI). NSI has been accepted as an international standard by the International Dairy Federation.

Solubility Index - Specification for U.S. Grades of Nonfat Dry Milk  

 Extra GradeStandard Grade
Instant NDM 1.0 ml N/A
Regular NDM 1.25 ml 2.0 ml
High-heat NDM 2.0 ml 2.5 ml
Roller-dried NDM 15.0 ml 15.0 ml

Whole milk powder may contain from 26% to less than 40% milkfat. Commonly seen levels are either 26% or 28.5% milkfat. Dry whole milk is available in either spray-dried or roller-dried forms. Roller-dried whole milk powder is often used in chocolate production because more free fat is available. Whole milk powder has a shorter shelf life than nonfat dry milk. For maximum stability, store whole milk powder in a cool, dry place. Milkfat is susceptible to oxidative reactions that are accelerated by increased temperature. Whole milk powder is sometimes packaged with a nitrogen flush to extend its shelf life.

Malted milk powder is a combination of fresh whole milk and an extract of cooked mash of malted barley and flour. This product is then dried to form a free-flowing powder. Malted milk powder has a unique flavor and is used in a variety of confectionery and beverage products.

Milk-solids-nonfat (MSNF) consists of the protein, carbohydrate (lactose) and ash (minerals) in a dairy product. The other two major components are water and milkfat. Below is a table that shows the typical composition of several dairy ingredients:

Nonfat Dry 
Milk, Instant
  Water 90.5% 4.0% 74.0%
  Fat 0.1% 0.7% 18.3%
(MSNF) Protein 3.6% 35.1% 2.9%
(MSNF) Lactose 5.1% 52.2% 4.2%
(MSNF) Ash 0.7% 8.0% 0.6%
  Total 100% 100%