Best Powdered Milks With An Insanely Long Shelf Life

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 03/12/2024

Best Powdered MilkToday, I have something really exciting to share…

A Complete Guide On Buying (& Storing) Powdered Milk For Emergencies

Because milk has so many amazing health benefits.

And while living without milk is possible, it’s challenging.

  • So what’s your calcium plan if the grocery store is out of milk?
  • How do you get milk’s vitamins and minerals in a crisis?

Powdered milk! If you plan ahead…

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
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Best Dehydrated Milks On The Market Today

Powdered milk is a staple of prepping and building food stores.

But in the face of so many powdered milk brands, it’s hard to make heads or tails of things.

That’s why we did the research for you!

Here’s our list of the best tasting powdered milk brands:

1. Our Top Recommendation
Powdered Whey Milk | Ready Hour

Ready Hour Powdered Whey Milk is designed to stay fresh for up to 20 years if unopened!

This means it's essential to your survival food kit, providing you and your loved ones with critical nutrition even in a crisis.

It requires no refrigeration, and you only need to add water.

This item comes in a big #10 can size, about five times the size of a normal soup can.

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READY WISE Whey Milk Alternative

Each Ready Wise powdered milk bucket contains 120 servings.

Each bucket contains durable mylar pouches of powdered whey milk that can be rehydrated in minutes by simply adding water.

This product promises to be a nutritious and delicious addition to your survival foods and guarantees a 20-year shelf life!

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NUTRIENT SURVIVAL Powdered Vitamin Milk

Nutrient Survival is known as the world’s most nutrient-dense survival food. 

Nutrient Survival is for you if you want the highest quality, healthiest, and best-tasting long-term food storage options.

You don’t have to sacrifice during survival situations with its 25-year shelf life guarantee!

Now you can get your daily milk and your daily vitamins in one!

Thirteen essential vitamins, including biotin, folate, riboflavin, and all the key antioxidant superstars, will keep you thriving all day.

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AUGASON FARMS Country Fresh Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

Every food storage enthusiast should check out Augason Farms.

They offer various emergency food products, from basic supplies to specialties.

One of their most popular products is powdered milk.

Their dry milk is available in various sizes, from 1 lb packages to 14 lb sealable pails.

When sealed, it has a shelf life of over 10 years. Once opened, it can last for over a year.

The milk is tasty and fortified with extra calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D.

For "Chocoholics," they also make a low-fat chocolate milk alternative called Chocolate Moo.

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Legacy Foods Milk Powder

Legacy Foods, another emergency prep mainstay.

Their Grade-A dehydrated milk is high-quality, RBST-free, and enriched with vitamins and minerals.

It is also excellent for long-term storage.

The packaging has preservation technology, including mylar pouches with oxygen absorbers.

This gives Legacy Foods milk a shelf life of over 5 years.

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Saratoga Farms powdered milk is a great choice if you’re looking for extended shelf life.

Packed in double-enameled #10 cans, it has a staying power of over 20 years when sealed.

It’s also a great value item, especially if you catch one of the company’s storewide sales.

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VFS has been making emergency food stores for some time, and its products reflect that.

Their dried milk has no fillers, GMOs, or artificial ingredients. It is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, and calcium.

Valley Food Storage is your best bet if you're looking for a long shelf-life.

Their products have some of the longest shelf lives in the business. This includes their milk, which has a 25-year guarantee!

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Bob's Red Mill Non Fat Dry Milk Powder

Bob’s Red Mill is something of a gold standard for what powdered milk can be.

Bob's is made from all-natural milk with no hormones and has definite cred for its authentic taste.

Unfortunately, it is unavailable in bulk and is usually sold in 22 or 26-oz packages.

While some preppers see this as a downside, it may be a benefit.

Smaller packages are one way to be creative about space. They also prevent widespread food loss in the event of contamination.

Bob’s also sells an excellent Sweet Cream Buttermilk Powder, which can be an excellent addition to recipes.

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Peak Dry Whole Milk Powder

This Dutch powdered whole milk has all the benefits of Holland’s organic agriculture system and high-quality dairy.

The milk is consistently good and high-quality. It is also 100 percent hormone and antibiotic-free.

Peak is not usually sold in bulk quantities and is also unavailable for bulk prices.

Still, the cost is quite reasonable.

For the price of a gallon of organic milk at the grocery store, you can get a container of Peak powdered milk that will make 3 gallons.

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Hoosier Hill Farm All Dairy Whole Milk Powder

Hoosier farms are a staple among many preppers. Their milk comes in various sizes so that you can pick what size best works for your storage area.

Made in the heartland of Indiana, it has a stellar reputation.

This is largely owing to its high-quality milk and how easy it is to work with.

Hoosier Hills' production process makes a very water-soluble product.

This makes it a dream in the kitchen when compared to less-soluble alternatives.

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Heap of Milk Powder (selective focus) on an old wooden table

What Is Powdered Milk (Dehydrated Milk)?

It’s milk that’s had most of its liquids removed.

This process creates a solid, powdery substance sometimes called:

  • Dried milk
  • Milk powder
  • Or Dehydrated milk

It’s not new and has been referenced as far back as the 11th century.

Commercial production began in the early 19th century.

Since then, it’s been widely produced worldwide.

Dried milk out of almost any type of milk you can think of.

This includes:

  • Nonfat skimmed milk
  • Other skimmed milk (like 1% or 2% milk)
  • Fortified milk
  • Whole milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Almond milk
  • Soy milk
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Portion of Milk Powder (close-up shot) on wooden background

6 Reasons Why You Should Stock Up

There are many reasons to include milk powder in an emergency food supply.

They include:

1. An excellent Shelf Life

Simply put, nonperishable foods last.

As explained below, some types can last up to 25 years, when stored correctly.

Long-lasting staples are essential for a well-rounded pantry.

And freeze-dried milk is one of them.

2. Excellent Ingredient For Cooking

Milk is a key ingredient in many recipes, including:

  • Creamy sauces
  • Soups
  • And desserts

Having access to milk increases the number of recipes you can make.

This variety can stave off boredom and keeps mealtimes fun, nutritious, and delicious.

3. For Coffee, Tea, Cocoa, And Cereal

Some people cannot drink their coffee (or tea) without milk.

With milk powder, you won’t have to.

The same applies to other hot beverages, such as cocoa.

Most food stores include hot and cold cereals, since they also have long shelf lives.

And yes, you CAN eat cereal without milk but why would you want to?

4. Make Your Own Dairy Products

Dairy products like cheese and butter are perishable.

Meaning they won’t last long without refrigeration.

Knowing how to make do is essential with no working electricity.

It allows you to make many types of dairy products.

These include cheeses, butter, sour cream, yogurt, and even ice cream.

5. Easy To Transport And Prepare

It’s easy to store powdered milk OR take with you.

  • It takes up far less space than fresh milk
  • It is lightweight, and all you need to prepare it is water

It’s so easy to transport and prepare that you don’t even need to wait for an emergency to use it.

If you go camping, use it to improve your classic camping meals.

6. A Valuable Commodity

In an emergency that disrupts supply lines, access to dairy will be hard to come by.

Even without total disruption, milk prices rise in times of crisis.

These swings in price make it an excellent commodity to own.

Whole Powdered Milk On A Spoon

How Is Milk Powder Made

The primary method used is drum drying.

Drum drying starts by coating a heated drum with a thin layer of milk.

The heat causes the water in the milk to evaporate.

This leaves behind a solid product.

The solid product is then scraped off and processed into a powder.

The drum drying method does have some downsides.

Drum-drying milk can be labor-intensive and can give the powder a cooked or even burnt flavor.

This led to the development of newer technologies.

These days, spray drying is the most common method used.

The process starts by evaporating milk down to approximately 50% milk solids.

The concentrated milk is then sprayed through an atomizer into a heated chamber.

Extra streams of hot air then evaporate the moisture in the milk.

The final product is a powder that you can use or store.

Another way to make it is by freeze-drying, also known as cryodesiccation.

This process starts by freezing milk in a pressure and temperature-controlled container.

You then lower the pressure in the container.

The lowered pressure causes a process called sublimation.

Sublimation removes the ice (i.e., the moisture) from the milk.

This process leaves behind a final powdery product.

↓ How Milk Powder Is Made

Most survival food kits are now made up of freeze-dried foods to preserve them for long-term storage.

And there is a way to turn fresh milk into powdered milk at home:

↓ How To Make Milk Powder At Home

↓ Dried Milk From Fresh Milk At Home

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How Long Does Powdered Milk Last?

The shelf life of powdered milk depends on several factors.

Many brands have a “best-by” date of approximately 18 months.

This is more of a taste-based suggestion than a hard limit.

Many brands will last between 2-10 years before going bad.

Other brands can last for up to 25 years.

The fat content also contributes to its lifespan.

As a rule, the less fat it contains, the longer it lasts.

Powdered whole milk and buttermilk won’t last as long as skim.

Dry Foods On A Shelf

Tips For Extending Your Powdered Milk’s Shelf Life

Smaller Packages Are Better

Lots of preppers think the larger your packages, the better your supply.

This motto isn’t always true.

It’s generally better to have a larger number of smaller packages.

Instead of having a smaller number of larger packages.

The more packages you have, the less you lose due to contamination.

Contamination, such as insects, rodents, mold, or moisture.

Keep It Sealed

Exposure to oxygen reduces lifespan.

Make sure to buy powdered milk it in sealed containers to intended for long-term food storage.

This strategy is important.

Many bulk products come in containers that look sealed or airtight but aren’t.

If you’re sure a unit is airtight and sealed, keep it in its original packaging until it’s time to use it.

Removing it from its original sealed packaging before you need to can reduce its shelf life.

You can repackage if a package isn’t sealed for long-term storage.

You should also make certain secondary containers are carefully sealed.

Re-Seal It

Of course, you’ll need to open sealed packages when it’s time to use them.

But you’re unlikely to use the entire package at once.

This means the rest of it needs someplace to go.

If you can fully re-seal the original packaging, do it.

If you decide on a secondary container, ensure the container is sealed.

You may want to invest in a vacuum sealer for this purpose.

Freezing Powdered Milk

Keeping your milk powder on a shelf at room temperature is the assumption.

  • But what about freezing it?
  • Will it last even longer?

Perhaps, because freezing helps prevents bacterial growth.

So why not toss some in you’re chest freezer – IF you have the room for it.

Is it over kill? Probably.

But again, if you have room to spare, it’s an acceptable tactic.

Label Your Containers

Make sure to label all your containers with pertinent information.

Include any best-by or expiration dates.

If you have different types of milk powders, be clear about which one is which.

Keep Away From Light

It will last longer if not exposed to sunlight.

So find a dark room (and store in a cool dry area) like a cupboard or a root cellar.

Keep your storage area in an oblique container or bag if it isn’t dark.

This helps offset some potential damage done by light.

Keep It Cool

The ideal storage temperature for non-frozen milk powder is 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can keep it at somewhat cooler and warmer temperatures.

But this may reduce its shelf life.

When Does Powdered Milk Go Bad?

There are many reasons dried milk might go bad.

Sometimes this happens unexpectedly, so it’s important to know the signs.

When it goes bad, it usually develops an unpleasant odor and/or starts to yellow.

Also, a small taste test can tell you if it’s still good or not…

If it’s gone bad, it’s important not to use it.

Spoiled milk (even in powder form) may harbor bacteria and mold that can harm your health.

Unless you want to turn it into cheese:

↓ “Expired” Milk Turned Into Free Food

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Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

children eating healthy food at home or kindergarten

What Makes Milk So Nutritious?

It’s an ideal addition to any long-term food cache.

There are many reasons for this.

One reason is it gives you an excellent bang for your nutritional buck.

Some of the nutritional attributes of milk include:

Good Source Of Calcium And Vitamin D

Milk is rich in these two nutrients.

We need both to build strong bones and teeth and to prevent disease.

Good Source Of Other Vitamins And Minerals

It’s packed with many vitamins, minerals, and other good things to stay healthy.

It is an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin A (good for vision, immune system, and tissue health.)
  • Iodine (strengthens the thyroid and the endocrine system.)
  • Vitamin B (needed for energy production, nerve health, red blood cell health, and healthy cell division.)
  • Potassium (regulates heartbeat and blood pressure, helps cells absorb nutrients and expel waste.)
  • Vitamin C (helps protect cells, skin, and cartilage and helps boost the immune system.)
  • Magnesium (supports muscles and nerves, maintains blood sugar and blood pressure, and helps make protein, bone, and DNA.)
  • Vitamin E (protects skin, prevents cell damage, and reduces the risk of certain cancers.)
  • Phosphorus (aids the growth of bones and teeth in children, helps digestion, and promotes cell and tissue health)
  • Vitamin K (encourages blood clotting, wound recovery, and bone health)

Packed With Amino Acids

Milk contains over 20 different types of essential amino acids.

Amino acids are crucial to maintaining health.

They are, in essence, the building blocks of proteins.

They also help synthesize and produce hormones and neurotransmitters.

It May Prevent Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that can cause cartilage loss, pain, and joint damage.

Studies have shown that consuming milk may reduce the risk and severity of the condition.

It May Prevent Diabetes

Several studies show milk may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults.

This may be because milk proteins and sugars help to balance blood sugar levels.

It May Improve Heart Health

Besides containing heart-healthy nutrients, milk can also raise levels of HDL cholesterol.

HDL is the “good” cholesterol that may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

If it comes from grass-fed cows, it may contain omega three fatty acids and linoleic acid.

These beneficial fats protect both your blood vessels and your heart.

It’s A Good Source Of Protein Without Excess Calories

Milk powder is very rich in protein. Unlike many other protein-rich foods, it is also low in calories.

One cup of skim milk has only 80 calories but around 8 grams of protein.

If you are looking for higher-calorie milk, you can also seek whole milk, which has more calories.

However, skim milk is an excellent choice if you are looking for a low-calorie, high-protein food.

As always, be safe, and happy prepping!

Lana Alder

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