Can evaporated milk be substituted for condensed milk? (how)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can evaporated milk be substituted for condensed milk?” and discuss how can evaporated milk be substituted for sweet condensed milk, the differences between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and how to make evaporated milk at home.

Can evaporated milk be substituted for condensed milk?

Yes, in some cases, it is possible to substitute evaporated milk for sweetened condensed milk, but not in all cases, due to the different compositions of evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk (1, 2).

You can substitute evaporated milk for sweetened condensed milk when evaporated milk is used in sweet recipes, such as cakes and desserts. In this case, you should reduce or eliminate the added sugar from the original recipe and use sweetened condensed milk in place of evaporated milk + sugar.

How to substitute evaporated milk for sweetened condensed milk?

To substitute evaporated milk for sweetened condensed milk, use 100 mL of condensed milk for every 100 mL of evaporated milk and reduce 50 g of added sugar in the recipe.

The milk solids present in the condensed milk are at the same concentration as in evaporated milk. In this way, except for the added sugars (sucrose and lactose), the products have the same compositions (1, 2).

For every 100 g of sweetened condensed milk, approximately 50 g is sugar. Therefore, by removing 50 of the sugar from your original recipe, you can use sweetened condensed milk in place of evaporated milk + sugar.

What is the difference between evaporated and condensed milk?

The main difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk is the presence of sugar in the condensed milk, which increases the amount of total solids in the product.

Evaporated milk contains about 70 % of water in its composition and about 10 % of carbohydrates, mainly lactose, and is generally sterilised to have a long shelf life at room temperature.

Sweetened condensed milk contains about 27 % of water in its composition and about 55 % of carbohydrates, which are sucrose and lactose. Due to the high concentration of solids and thermal treatments, sweetened condensed milk has also a long shelf life at room temperature (1, 2).

The presence of sugar alters other properties in the condensed milk, such as the viscosity, shelf life, colour and aroma, and possible applications (1, 2).

What is evaporated milk?

Evaporated milk is a product obtained by the partial removal of water from fresh milk. Milk is homogenised and pasteurised and submitted to subsequential evaporation stages at temperatures between 40 to 60 °C in vacuum chambers.

The mild temperature used to evaporate water from milk prevents nutritional losses and excessive darkening of the product. When the evaporated milk reaches the amount of 25 to 30 % total solids in the composition, the product is sterilised and packed in aseptic packaging (1, 2).

What is sweetened condensed milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is the evaporated milk added with sucrose. After the removal of water from fresh milk, similar to the production process to obtain evaporated milk, sucrose is added to the product.

The resulting product is a sweet, thick and darkened product with a water content of only 27 % (1). Lactose is also added during the process, to induce crystallisation and prevent a sandy texture (1, 2).

How to make evaporated milk at home?

To make evaporated milk at home, you can simmer fresh milk at a very low temperature for a long period, till the consistency of evaporated milk is achieved (3).

Given that evaporated milk is concentrated milk, it can be easily made by evaporation of water, however, if you boil milk or cook the milk at high temperatures, undesirable effects occur to the milk.

When milk is submitted to high temperatures for prolonged times, changes are noticed, such as excessive darkening, the alteration of the flavour to a cooked flavour and the loss of nutrients, including the denaturation of the proteins and hydrolysis of lipids, destruction of vitamins and so on (1, 2).

Another way to make a product similar to evaporated milk is to mix powdered milk and water to a high proportion of dry milk and a lower amount of water. Add 2/3 of dried milk powder to 1 cup of water to obtain concentrated milk, similar to evaporated milk (4).

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can evaporated milk be substituted for condensed milk?” and discussed how can evaporated milk be substituted for sweet condensed milk, what are the differences between evaporated milk and sweet condensed milk and how to make evaporated milk at home.

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References

1.-

Mehta BM. Chemical composition of milk and milk products. Handbook of food chemistry. 2015:511-53.

3.-

Saving milk [Internet]. Ncsu.edu. 2020 [cited 2023 Oct 4]. Available from: https://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/2020/09/saving-milk/

4.-

Utah State University. Storing dried milk [Internet]. Usu.edu. [cited 2023 Oct 4]. Available from: https://extension.usu.edu/preserve-the-harvest/research/storing-dried-milk