Challenges

Give milk powder another look

This idea is to explore the possibility of expanding the market for supplying milk for drinking in the form of powder, doing away with the need for plastic bottles (or cartons) and the CO2 burden associated with transporting the weight of fresh milk.

I would be interested in the Life Cycle Analysis comparison between fresh milk and powered milk - from the factory to the home. Fresh milk requires lower processing costs, larger plastic packaging ((c.f. powdered milk) and higher transport costs. Milk powder requires higher processing costs, smaller (wax coated paper?) packaging and lower transport costs. Processing milk into power could use renewable energy, while transport is still widely carbon based.

While milk powder is widely made and used in the world, it is seen as inferior to fresh milk. I think there are a number of reasons for this:

1. Fresh milk seems more health.

2. Powdered milk tastes a bit different.

3. Measuring out the powder and mixing the milk can be messy.

My ideas about overcoming these obstacles:

1. I don't know if fresh milk is actually better for us health wise. If not, using powdered milk could be marketed as just as good for us and better for the planet.

2. Is there a way to change the process to improve taste? To me it tastes like UHT milk which I still like. To a certain extent it is a matter of getting used to it. And there appears to be a market for people who are willing to change their habits for a better environmental outcome.

3. I hear that the original success of the plaster (to put over a small cut on your body) did not initially take off because they were at first only sold in strips. It was not until the individually wrapped, single plaster was available that they were a roaring success.

Given the inconvenience of having to measure milk powder into a jug and mix it, what if the powder could be pressed into blocks that would make up 1 litre of milk? No measuring of guessing involved.

And additionally, alongside the milk power blocks you can sell an "old style" glass milk bottle to mix it in at home. End result, minimal transport costs, no plastic packaging and a cool glass milk bottle at the breakfast table. 

 

Comments (1)

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How can this be improved?
Idoia Letona Castrillo
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  • I have never tried powdered milk so I don't have an opinion about the taste, nevertheless in my case I wouldn't feel very confident of consuming this type of milk if I have the option of consuming fresh milk. But I think that there is an issue that could be introduced in the analysis that you want to conduct:
    - taking the fresh milk from the local market (or even supermarket) with your own bottle. Markets could have a fesh milk dispenser and the consumer could take what they need, brunging their own container. Transportation of fresh milk in 100L reusable packages to markets would be more environmentally friendly than doing in 2L disposable bottles.
    I think this is an approach that could be introduced in the analysis that you propose.