Just wondering if anyone had bothered to freeze dry their own milk for use in chocolate making?
Also I have heard of spray drying and roller drying for making milk powder, are there any companies that make milk powder by freeze drying, perhpas this is too energy intensive and the other methods are cheaper?
That said I have a freeze dryer at work now so will give it a shot with some excellent local dairy milk.
Would love to hear how the freeze drying process goes Tom and then how the milk(?) chocolate tastes.
Do you have any info on how freeze dried could be expected to influence the fat contained in the dried milk? I've read spray-dried milk powder "binds" more of the fat than roller-dried milk, so I'm just wondering how freeze dried milk would compare?
I don't have any specific info but I would assume that lyophilising, if it goes well, should provide the milk powder with a huge surface area so would expect it to be able to 'bind' more of the fats. I would also expect this stuff to be very hydroscopic and I will have to use it ASAP in chocolate making otherwise it would become gummy and not grind in. Might need to use some nitrogen or argon to pack it in on the way home, or vacuum seal it?
What kind of freeze dryer/lyophilizer do you have at work? Is it a lab piece or something used in the food industry? Any ideas on cost?
If you had a tall mountain, you could freeze dry naturally like the Incas do with their chuño potatoes, frozen at night in the extreme cold and smashed in the day to virtually sublime the ice to vapor, so in a few days, it's practically freeze dried mashed potatoes! ;-)
Nat Bletter, PhD
Tom - freeze dried raspberries works well in chocolate (surprisingly good in milk chocolate as well!!).
Out of interest, where are you sourcing your milk powders at the moment? I've just started making chocolate at home and am experimenting with milk powders at the moment. I'm pretty sure Coles isn't stocking my optimal choice, but I'm not sure where to try next (given I don't have my personal freeze-drying machine at work :-) )
I've just read another of your posts on the forum Tom where you say the Coles/Woolies powdered milk is from Fontera and one of the best on the market (admittedly, your comment was written in Nov 2010). Do you know if this is still the case? Maybe Coles is my optimal choice after all.
I am not sure if that is up to date as I have not checked the fact recently, but I haven't noticed a difference over those years, I am very happy with the Coles and Woolies milk powders. I found it very difficult to find small amounts of any Aussie made milk powders when I was starting out, but in my ringing around and talking to people one of the guys I spoke to at Golden Dairies told me about Fontera supplying Coles and Woolies and recommended I use that until I needed larger quantities. I did know who Haighs use but have forgotten, I will try and remember.
Tatura, thats who Haigh's use.
Thanks for that Tom - I guess I'll stick with Coles for now.
Good on you for getting into making chocolate from scratch too, very satisfying and enlightening.