Every 2 months I count up how many milk powder bags I need to replenish our family food storage. As we have plastic bins in fixed areas dedicated for milk powder, it’s easy to see how many 1kg bags I need to buy to refill the plastic storage bins. By dedicating containers to milk powder storage I never have to count what is in stock or work out anything. I just need to fill the empty space left behind from milk powder we have used in the past 2 months. This makes it easiest for me.
Find a dark, cool place. Dry milk products are most sensitive to environmental conditions. Milk powders are particularly sensitive to light, temperature and moisture content. Their vitamins A and will break down rapidly if exposed to light. Photos below : Our family’s stored milk powder.
The area where your dry milk is stored should be kept as cool as possible. If it is possible to do so, air-conditioning or even refrigeration can greatly extend the nutrient shelf life.
If your storage container is transparent or translucent then it should be put into a second container opaque to light or stored in a dark room.
Dry milk will absorb moisture and odors from the air. Ensure your storage containers are impervious to both air and moisture. The drier it can be kept, the better it will keep. 1.
In New Zealand, I recommend buying milk powder in opaque sealed plastic bags where the oxygen has already been removed. I have found this to be economical.
Oxygen also speeds decomposition. Powdered milk canned with nitrogen or carbon dioxide to replace air (which contains oxygen) will keep longer than powdered milk exposed to air. Vacuum canning or oxygen absorbers will also decrease the available oxygen. You will not need to do this if you buy milk powder in sealed plastic bags.
If the dry milk you bought was not packaged for long term storage then it is best used within a few weeks. Buy milk powder already in sealed plastic bags if you plan to store it, not bulk bin loose milk powder.
In New Zealand, we can buy milk powder in plastic bags, already to store away. Store the bags of milk powder as soon as you get home. Put the full, unopened bags in rodent resistant containers. Label the containers. Then store them in a cool, dark, dry place.
Skim, trim or non-fat milk powder will last much longer than whole milk powder.
We have used skim milk powder after storing for 18 months; whole milk powder after 4 months. Both kept their flavour and stored well.
I buy milk powder at my local supermarket and repack it into rodent-resistant space saver containers when I get it home.
Above; Our plastic bags of milk powder in used space-saver containers I bought, used, for $2 each from a bakery. You can start small. Start with just three months of food storage. If that is stretching your budget, then you can do what many have done – pray to God for some miracle way to be able to do this. He will help you find a way to keep his commandments.
Your first step:
Work out how many 1 kg bags of whole milk powder your family will use in the next 4 months. Work out how many 1 kg bags of trim milk powder your family will use in the next year.
2. Dedicate an area
Dedicate a space for the milk powder. Find several rodent-resistant buckets or space-savers for this.
3. Buy & store
Buy milk powder in air-sealed, opaque plastic bags. Write the month and year on each bag. Place sealed bags inside your seal-able buckets. Write on the container how many bags should be in there.
4. Use them
Use them up. Each day use your stored food. Use the oldest bags first.
1. Storing Dry Milk – Shelf Life of Dry Milk USA Emergency Supply website.
1. The photos of milk powder I took myself at home.
2. The wonderful ‘Milk moustache’ photo is provided by Davidfoff A. from flickr.com/photos/davidoff_a/500945640/ . Thanks David.