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Condensed Milk

An Introduction
Generation after generation have relied on Condensed Milk for its special way of complementing various culinary dishes for every occasion. It helps to give a particular dish that unmistakable rich and creamy taste that is packed full of goodness. The unique taste combining the concentrated full cream milk and sugar, and is an important ingredient in the success of homemade sweets such as fudge and coconut ice, as well as tarts such as lemon meringue pie for many ages now. Condensed Milk have provided the filling or topping for home made biscuits, muffins, cup cakes, pastries, chocolates and tarts. A treat for any special occasion. The creamy taste forms the ideal base for dips as well as a popular topping for fresh or canned fruit and fruit salads. Thus condensed milk make for both a versatile and convenient food product item.

What is Condensed Milk?
Condensed Milk is variety of concentrated cow's milk from which water has been removed and sugar has been added, causing the milk to be very thick and sweet canned product that can last for years without refrigeration if unopened. Condensed milk is sourced from evaporated milk, which is nothing but concentration of milk to one-half or less its original bulk by evaporation or sterilization under high pressures and temperatures, without the addition of sugar, and usually contains a specified amount of milk fat and solids. It may be said that condensed milk is essentially evaporated milk with sugar added. The milk is then canned for consumer consumption and commercial use in baking, ice cream processing, and candy manufacture. This product has a shelf life of two years.

Wide Usages
It is also suitable for savory dishes across the world.Condensed milk is versatile and as an ingredient can:
  • Humidify and marinate
  • Cream and thicken
  • Fluff and lighten (scrambled eggs, omelettes)
  • Smooth and tenderise (veggies, meat)
  • Bind (pastes and oils)
  • Balance (sweet, savoury, bitter, sour)
  • Round and reduce sharp taste such as curry
  • It does not add sweetness
  • Provides less milk volume, without sacrificing a rich milk taste
  • Can whip to double its volume.
Condensed milk is widely utilized in recipes for the well-liked Brazilian sweetie brigadeiro, lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, caramel candies and other desserts. The Vietnamese use condensed milk to savor their coffee. A popular treat in Asia is to put condensed milk on toast and eat it in a similar way as jam and toast. In many parts of Asia and Europe, syrupy condensed milk is the favored milk as an addition to coffee or sweetened tea.

A Brief Historical Background
In the historical recordings by Marco Polo in the medieval times, we come across condense milk being made by Tatars. Apparently, ten pounds of milk paste was carried by each man who would mix the product with water. However, the present version of the concentrated milk was first developed in the mid-1800s before the advent of refrigeration, then many used it as a beverage.

Production Process
Unprocessed and unrefined milk is purified and then it is heated to  85-90°C for several seconds. This heating destroys some microorganisms, decreases fat separation and inhibits oxidation. The milk is evaporated and sugar is added to approximately 45%. This sugar is what extends the shelf life of sweetened condensed milk. Sucrose increases the liquid's osmotic pressure, which prevents microorganism growth. The sweetened evaporated milk is cooled and lactose crystallization is induced.

Nutritional Value of Condensed Milk
Condensed milk is rich in nutrition, like vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, plus Vitamin D which boosts calcium uptake and relatively low in calories. Furthermore, weight loss research indicates that a diet rich in calcium-rich dairy foods stimulates the body to burn more fat and inhibits the formation of new fat cells. This altered fat metabolism may result in fat and weight reduction.
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