What is Skim Milk Powder and Is It Good For You?


What is Skim Milk Powder?

Skim milk powder is defined as the product obtained by removing all of the water from pasteurised skim milk.

Simply put, skimmed milk powder is a lower-calorie, lower-fat version of whole or ‘full-fat’ milk that’s been made into a powder. All of the original constituents except water are present in their original ratios. Skim milk powder contains not more than 5% by weight moisture, and not more than 1.5% by weight milk fat unless otherwise indicated.

How is Skim Milk Powder Made?

Skimmed milk was first made by allowing regular milk to separate and the cream to rise to the top. The cream was then ‘skimmed’ off the top and removed leaving a naturally lower-fat version. Drum drying was the major method used for the production of milk powders in the first half of the twentieth century.

Today, however, skimmed milk is made by centrifugal separation, in which most or all of the fat molecules are separated from the remainder of the milk. This concentrated milk is then spray dried or roller dried without extensive loss in quality, by drying milk in spray driers, which atomise the milk in a stream of heated air. This rapidly dries the milk into a powder in a matter of seconds.

After spray drying, the milk powder is separated from the air in the dryer by a bag filter or cyclone. The bacterial load is dramatically reduced and the low moisture content of the resulting powder inhibits microbial growth producing a long shelf life product (∼2 years).

A fluidised bed process may also be employed at this stage which involves air being blown up through the powder from below, causing the powder particles to separate and behave like a fluid, as well as to cool and dry the powder further.

The powder produced should be free flowing and not stick to containers, vessels, bags etc., and should reconstitute in water readily, without lumps or undissolved particles.

Is Skim Milk Powder Good for Lowering Cholesterol and Reducing Calories?

Skim milk powder is a good option for anyone who is trying to reduce their calorie intake, while still getting a sufficient amount of calcium and protein. One of the main benefits of skim milk powder is that it supplies a high amount of protein, calcium, and vitamin D for a relatively low amount of calories. Skim milk powder contains around half the calories of whole milk powder. One cup of whole milk has close to 150 calories while one cup of skim milk contains about 90 calories.

The biggest difference between whole milk powder and skimmed milk powder is the fat content. The removal of fat content from milk has a direct impact on the calorie count. Skim milk powder also has a lower cholesterol content than whole milk. One cup of whole milk contains about 24mg of cholesterol, while a similar-sized serving of skim milk only has 5mg of cholesterol.

Typically, whole milk powders contain around 3.25 per cent fat (8g of per reconstituted glass), whereas skimmed milk powder contains less than 0.5 per cent (0.3g) per glass. The vast majority of the calories in skimmed milk originate from its carbohydrate content.

Lactose, the principal carbohydrate in milk powder, accounts for about 54% of the total solids-not-fat content of milk. Quantities of oligosaccharides, glucose and galactose are also present in skim milk powder. When you ingest milk sugar, you have to digest the lactose into its two simple sugar units, also called disaccharide units, glucose and galactose. Your intestine can then take up glucose and galactose into your bloodstream. Researchers speculate that galactose may have a unique role in the rapidly developing infant brain.

Galactose – a key source of energy and a crucial structural element in complex molecules – is particularly important for early human development. However, galactose metabolism might be important not only for fetal and neonatal development but also for adulthood, as evidenced by the inherited disorders of galactose metabolism.

Comparative Typical Composition of Dry Milk*

Skim Milk Powder Whole Milk Powder
Protein (%) 36.00 26.50
Lactose (%) 51.00 38.00
Fat (%) 0.70 26.75
Moisture (%) 3.00 2.25
Total minerals (%*) 8.20 6.00
Calcium (%) 1.31 0.97
Phosphorus (%) 1.02 0.75
Vitamin A (I.U./100g) 36.40 1,091.30
Thiamin/Vitamin B1 (mg/100g) 0.35 0.26
Ribofalvin/Vitamin B2 (mg/100g) 2.03 1.48
Niacin/Vitamin B3 (mg/100g) 0.93 0.68
Niacin Equivalents (mg/100g) 9.30 6.75
Pantothenic Acid (mg/100g) 3.31 2.87
Pyridoxine/Vitamin B6 (mg/100g) 0.44 0.33
Biotin (mg/100g) 0.04 0.04
Ascorbic Acid/Vitamin C (mg/100g) 2.00 2.20
Choline (mg/100g) 111.20 88.18
Energy (calories/100g) 359.40 498.20
*Please consult our supplier for detailed information to be used for nutritional labelling purposes. Composition ranges should be used for specification purposes as the product composition may vary.

What is Skim Milk Powder Used For?

Dairy products are highly perishable. Converting milk into milk powder increases its shelf life and enables it to be stored for extended period (about 1 year) without substantial loss of quality, even at ambient temperatures. Milk powder has a far longer shelf life than liquid milk and does not need to be refrigerated due to its low moisture content.

Skim milk powder is not only used for recombination or reconstitution but it can be exploited for its intrinsic functional properties for application as a food ingredient in several ‘value‐added’ foods. Skim milk powder is used in a wide range of products such as baked goods, snacks and soups, chocolates and confectionary (e.g. milk chocolate), ice cream, infant formulae, nutritional products for senior citizens, athletes, hospital use etc., recombined milk and other liquid beverages.

Skimmed milk powder is important for good loaf volume in pieces of bread and bakery products. It improves the volume and binding capacity of bread and ensures crisper pastry and biscuits.


Application Benefit of Milk Powder
Bakery Improve product texture to create a moister product; provide baked, brown flavour during baking and heating; accentuate colour development; provide vitamin and mineral fortification.
Beverages Increase viscosity; help maintain foam stability; can provide creamy dairy notes; provides vitamin and mineral fortification.
Confectionery All-natural emulsifying ingredients, provide structural support, contribute to a smooth texture, provide creamy, dairy notes and richness; contribute to the caramelised colour associated with many confections.
Dairy Products All-natural emulsifying ingredients, improve mouthfeel, create lower fat products with the taste of full fat, help maintain foam properties, provide a clean flavour and aroma, represent a natural and good source of soluble vitamins.
Dry Mixes Can improve the overall nutritional profile, can provide creamy dairy notes, ensure even flavour distribution.
Infant Products Increase nutritional value, form stable emulsions, improve mouthfeel and texture, contribute a subtle dairy flavour and aroma.
Nutritional Products Increase nutritional value, provide vitamin and mineral fortification, contribute to a food’s healthy image and clean label.
Prepared Foods Can improve the overall nutritional profile, all-natural emulsifying ingredient, enhance visual appeal of reduced-fat soups and sauces, acts as a flavour carrier, adds richness.
Processed Meats & Seafood Form stable emulsions, provide structural support to meat products, improve texture, enhance flavour by acting as a flavour carrier for spices and herbs.
Seasonings & Flavours Act as a flavour carrier.
Snacks Can improve the overall nutritional value, contribute to a food’s healthy image and clean label.
Animal Feed Increase nutritional value, provide vitamin and mineral fortification.


What Does Skim Milk Powder Taste Like?

Skim milk powder should ideally have a clean, sweet and pleasant taste free of flavour defects

According to the heat treatment (low, medium, high) of the milk prior to evaporation and spray drying, cooked flavours may be present and vary. The heat treatment alters the functional properties. Whey protein nitrogen index (WPNI) is a measure of the amount of heat treatment the powder has received. Whey proteins are denatured or altered by heat. The test measures the amount of undenatured whey protein present in the powder. Lower levels of undenatured whey protein in the powder indicate exposure to higher temperatures. WPNI does not indicate the heat stability of the powder. Low heat powder will have < 25% of the whey protein denatured while > 81% of the whey proteins are denatured in high heat powder.

Low-heat skimmed milk powder is important for optimising sensory properties in dairy foods and beverages.


Recommended Uses of Skim Milk Powder as a Function of Heat Treatment

Classification Processing Treatment Recommended Applications
Low Heat Cumulative heat treatment of milk not more than 70ºC for 2 minutes Fluid milk fortification, cottage cheese, cultured skim milk, starter culture, chocolate dairy drinks, ice cream
Medium Heat Cumulative heat treatment of 70 -78ºC for 20 minutes Prepared mixes, ice cream, confectionery, meat products
High Heat Cumulative heat treatment of 88ºC for 30 minutes Bakery, meat products, ice cream, prepared mixes


Is Skim Milk Powder Good For You?

Skim Milk Powder is a highly nutritious food composed of essential amino acids, calcium and a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is “nutrient-dense,” meaning it provides a large dose of vitamins and minerals with very few calories.

Skim milk powder retains many of the nutritional properties of the original milk source and contrary to popular belief, skimmed milk provides virtually the same nutrients as whole milk and with only a fraction more natural sugar. Skimmed milk powder is a source of high nutritional value such as high animal protein and carbohydrate content.

In skim milk powder, there is (by weight) 36% protein, 52% carbohydrates (predominantly lactose), calcium 1.3%, and potassium 1.8% as compared to Whole milk powder, which contains on average 25-27% protein, 36-38% carbohydrates, 26-40% fat, and 5-7% ash (minerals).

Long before fancy and expensive cans of protein powder supplements lined shelves in supermarkets and pharmacies to lure bodybuilding fans…there was skim milk powder. It turns out, that skim milk powder is still one of the best low-cost, high-protein foods out there. And you don’t have to want to be a bodybuilder to reap the benefits of a little extra protein throughout the day. Skim milk powder contains both casein and whey protein. Both are extremely beneficial in helping to build and repair muscle, as well as maintain muscle function. Casein, which is easy to digest, has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory protective effects. 

Skim milk powder provides the diet with a complete range of amino acids, a high proportion of which are essential to the body. Amino acids are known as the ‘building blocks of protein’ and are responsible for building and maintaining lean muscles. Lysine is of particular interest, as this is the first limiting amino acid in people whose diets are mainly based on cereals and vegetable protein sources. Limiting amino acids are essential amino acids in the digested protein that are in the shortest supply relative to body requirements for absorbed amino acids.

Research, including this study, proves that the protein found in skimmed milk helps to build muscle more quickly than alternative protein sources, such as soy protein.

So, skim milk is healthy for those looking for a safe, natural and rich source of protein to build and maintain lean muscles.

Typical Essential Amino Acid Profile of Milk Powders

Amino Acids (g/100g) Skimmed Milk Powder Whole Milk Powder
Isoleucine 2.24 1.61
Leucine 3.43 2.47
Valine 2.40 1.73
Methionine 0.86 0.62
Phenylalanine 1.70 1.22
Threonine 1.61 1.16
Tryptophan 0.49 0.35
Lysine 2.72 1.96
Histidine 0.92 0.66


Dairy proteins, as a group, also contain minor components and produce peptides on digestion, which are bioactive and capable of diverse physiological functions.

The quality protein in skim milk powder helps protect against protein deficiency which can cause parathyroid hormone (PTH) to rise. A rise in PTH suppresses liver function and thyroid energy metabolism and generally increases stress, inflammation and disease.

Evidence from animal and cell culture studies suggests that milk proteins, especially those associated with whey, have anti-carcinogenic properties. This study shows the anticancer properties of the membrane phospholipid sphingomyelin, a strong tumour suppressor lipid, are associated with whey protein concentrate and skim milk powder.

Skimmed Milk Powder is High in Calcium

The calcium in skim milk powder is almost enough of a reason not to go without it in your diet. Calcium is an essential nutrient that can’t be produced by the body and thus has to be consumed through diet (or supplements). It is the most abundant mineral in the human body. The importance of calcium can hardly be overstated. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-obesity, anti-allergy, and pro-metabolism substance.

Calcium accounts for approximately 2% of our body weight. According to the International Institutes of Health, 1% of the calcium present in the human body is required for critical metabolic functions such as hormone secretion, vascular contraction, vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, or intracellular signalling. The other 99% is stored in bones and teeth.

The insufficient intake of calcium does not produce obvious symptoms in the short term because the body maintains calcium levels in the blood by taking it from the bone. Insufficient calcium in the body causes PTH (parathyroid hormone) to rise, which pulls calcium out of the bones into the circulation causing an excess of calcium inside cells.

Over the long term, intakes of calcium below recommended levels have health consequences, such as causing low bone mass (osteopenia) and increasing the risks of osteoarthritis and bone fractures. Bone health is such a concern that the recommended daily intake for calcium have been recently revised and increased for almost all age categories.

Milk is the best food source of calcium, with skimmed milk providing more calcium than whole milk or semi-skimmed milk varieties. As well as being necessary for the growth of healthy bones and teeth, calcium is essential for normal blood clotting and muscle function.

Did you know that in order to consume the same amount of calcium found in a glass of skimmed milk, you would need to eat 63 brussels sprouts, 11 servings of spinach or four servings of broccoli??!! It’s amazing but just 100g of skimmed milk powder contains 1,300mg of calcium.

Because the fat portion of whole milk does not contain calcium, you can lose the fat without losing any calcium.

In order to metabolise calcium, the body needs other nutrients such as protein, vitamin D, or phosphorus. Apart from that, the amino acid lysine helps calcium absorption. This is one reason why just taking a calcium pill can’t replace eating REAL, healthy food like Skim Milk Powder.

This study shows that rats fed Skim Milk Powder have higher bone structural and strength parameters than rats fed a normal diet.

Will Skim Milk Powder Help Me Lose Weight?

The short answer is yes! Many studies including this one have evaluated the effects of dietary calcium supplementation on body weight/fat loss in humans.

The 2011 Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intake committee set the recommended dietary allowances at 1300 mg/day of calcium for children aged 9–18 years and 1000–1200 mg/day (varying by age) for healthy adults. In fact, most American children do not yet meet these recommendations. Thus, increasing the intake of daily calcium is the primary condition for health and may contribute to body weight/fat loss.

World-renowned Endocrinologist and Research Scientist, Dr Ray Peat PhD says “Calcium in the diet is a very important thing for keeping metabolic rate up and helping to lose weight”.

He says that “In recent years there have been studies showing that regular milk drinkers are less fat than people who don’t drink it”. He goes on to say “ the high calcium content is probably the main factor. The parathyroid hormone (PTH) is an important regulator of calcium metabolism. If dietary calcium isn’t sufficient, causing blood calcium to decrease, the PTH increases and removes calcium from bones to maintain a normal amount in the blood. PTH has many other effects, contributing to inflammation, calcification of soft tissues, and decreased respiratory energy production. When there is adequate calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium in the diet, PTH is kept to a minimum. When PTH is kept low, cells increase their formation of the uncoupling proteins, which cause mitochondria to use energy at a higher rate, and this is associated with decreased activity of the fatty acid synthase enzymes”.

More specifically, this study shows that increasing low-fat dairy foods to 4–5 servings/day (in those who are at borderline dietary intake) may be beneficial for weight loss/maintenance and may lead to more favourable bone and body composition outcomes in postmenopausal women. While in this study it was shown that a skim milk powder diet resulted in a lower fat mass in obese male rats compared to those fed a soy protein diet.

Skim milk powder also offers an assortment of other basic minerals besides calcium like selenium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. The high levels of potassium found in skimmed milk contribute to normal muscle and nerve function and is important for healthy blood pressure, while magnesium helps your heart, muscles and immune system to function properly. Zinc, a nutrient found throughout your body, helps your immune system and metabolism function. Zinc is also important to wound healing and your sense of taste and smell.

This study examined the nutritional effect of calcium supplementation by skim milk powder or calcium tablets on total nutrient intake in postmenopausal women. It found that subjects supplemented with skim milk powder had higher intakes of several nutrients, including protein and zinc, compared with the subjects given calcium tablets. A greater proportion of subjects using the milk-powder supplement achieved > or = 70% of the RDI for zinc compared with tablet-supplemented subjects during the intervention study.


How Much Skim Milk Powder Do I Use To Make 1 Cup of Milk?

To make one cup of skim milk using this skim milk powder, slowly combine about 1/3 cup of milk powder with 1 cup of cold water. It’s best to add just a tiny bit of water, stir the water and powder together into a paste, and then add the rest of the water, stirring continuously. For best results always add the powder to water, not water to the powder. Always use a dry spoon when measuring powder.

Some people start the mixing process with hot water, which will help the powder dissolve more easily.

To make 1 cup (250 mL)

  1. Add 1/3 cup (35g) of Organic Skim Milk Powder to 1/2 cup (125mL) of hot or cold water.
  2. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Add more water to make up to 1 cup.

how to make 1 cup of Skim Milk

To make 1 litre

  1. Add 1 1/3 cups (140g) of Organic Skim Milk Powder to 2 cups (500mL) of hot or cold water.
  2. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Add more water to make up to 1L.

how to make 1 litre of skim milk

How Do I Store Skim Milk Powder?

One of the clearest advantages of powdered skim milk is its long shelf life. Store unopened in a cool, dry place such as a cupboard for up to 1 year. Under ideal conditions, the storage time can be extended to at least two years.

You can store opened powdered milk in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the cupboard or 3 years in the freezer. Because your powdered milk has a much shorter storage life once the package is open if you don’t plan to use a lot of powdered milk at once it’s best to buy it in smaller packages to minimize waste.

Once made into fluid milk, it keeps for 5-7 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

Ideally, it should be stored at lower than 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) and in relative humidity of less than 65 per cent.

What is Certified Organic Skim Milk Powder?

There are plenty of skim milk powders on the market today that are marketed as organic but their ingredients wouldn’t pass the Certification Rules. The term ‘certified organic’ means the Skim Milk Powder has been independent, third-party verified by a certification agency as being organic. This means that every part of the supply chain from the soil on the farm, to the production of the product/ingredient has been through rigorous audits and testing and adhered to a standard.

Certified Organic is not just “chemical free”. It is a whole system or holistic means of growing and handling food and plants. The whole system is linked – Soil. Plants. Animals. Food. People. Environment. This is why it is important for you to always look for ‘certified organic’ and a trusted certification logo on organic products. This brand is Malaysia’s best and ‘Certified Organic‘.

Organic always means:

No synthetic chemicals, pesticides or herbicides
Made without artificial colours and preservatives
Livestock are free to roam
No routine use of antibiotics
GM ingredients are prohibited