Milk Powder Characterization - Chapter 2: Packaging, Transport, and Storage

Knowing the properties and behavior of powders and granular media is essential for many industrial applications. Powder behavior can change during manufacturing processes or can vary depending on environmental conditions. This application report presents multiple characterization methods such as tapped density, gravimetric water uptake, particle size, cohesion strength and compressibility, in order to define the nature of infant/toddler milk powder with respect to manufacturing, storage, filling, and formulation.


Not only is powdered milk a commonly used basic food item in situations where fresh milk is not available, but powdered infant formula is very important for infants and toddlers, either as supplementation to or as a substitution for breast feeding, especially for those cared for in a nursery. Infant formula needs to meet the nutritional requirements of children’s bodies by resembling the composition of breast milk through its special formulation. 

Experiments were carried out using two milk powder samples: an infant formula, suitable for the first six months of life, and a toddler formula, for kids above the age of one. 

Generally infant formula is mostly pure milk powder, but the nutritional needs of toddlers warrant a higher energy intake. This is addressed by the addition of sugars (most commonly maltodextrine). This in turn changes the structure, texture, and flow behavior of the formula (both in its powdered state and when dissolved). 

Milk powder quality plays an important role in manufacturing processes and is dependent on the raw product (fresh milk). The powder behavior also influences the manufacturing process, transportation, and the characteristics of the final liquid milk product. 

In this report the aim was to show a complete picture of the powder characteristics which are critical for production, packaging, transport, and storage of the product.

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