How to know if milk powder is spoiled

This article will point out ways to know if milk powder is spoiled. You will also find information on how milk powder is made and we will talk about storing milk powder properly.

How to know if milk powder is spoiled

Spoiled milk powder is discolored powder which smells off and has a very moldy taste. You might even find insects crawling inside because of the moisture content. Powdered milk has a best-by date which should be enough to tell if the milk has gone bad or not. 

There are definitely physical signs that you can see and smell which will guarantee you whether the milk powder is safe to use.

What does spoiled milk powder look like?

  1. Discoloration 

The very first change that you will notice in your powder milk once it has been opened and not stored properly, is a shift from light creamy color to a dark yellow. This means that moisture has entered the milk powder’s environment.

  1. Rancid smell

Color change will lead to the formation of gases that smell funny and change the fresh smell of milk powder. Usually milk powder smells like milk but more creamy but spoiled milk smells nothing like milk or even cream.

  1. Mold formation 

Molds can easily grow in this environment now, it is ideal for their reproduction. Green or greyish brown molds will become visible once the powder starts getting spoiled. 

  1. Insects crawling 

Don’t be terrified but you might even find insects crawling inside your jar and basically swimming in that milk powder. Insects such as these are not poisonous but they harm the powder milk and make it not fit to be consumed in any form. 

If your powdered milk is showing any of the above signs then it is better to get a new packet. These changes in the milk powder should not be avoided as they can lead to very serious health issues such as food poisoning or food allergies. 

Shelf life of milk powder

The best-by date, however, does not mean that the powder milk is expired, it only manifests the freshness and quality that the company promises to its customers. It is most likely that you will still be able to use the powdered milk even after this date has passed. 

Shelf life after opening the bag

The shelf-life of milk powder does not decrease after opening the bag if it is stored properly. This means that you can use it for months if stored in an air-tight jar or container. If you live in a place where humidity is changing frequently, you have to be vigilant to use only air-tight jars. 

Storing milk powder

  • As it is a powder, it is very prone to form giant sticky lumps if any moisture gets through. Therefore, cool and dry places are the best for milk powders. 
  • The original box that it comes in is not the best choice for this milk, it should therefore be shifted to containers inside a pantry.

Proper storage can increase the shelf-life of milk powder from 2 years to even 10 years. This means that you will have to strictly keep the powder away from heat and any kind of exposure to moisture.

Label the containers

When you open a powder milk box and empty it into a container, make sure to label the container so you can tell how fresh the milk powder is. It will stay good if placed away from light as that will minimize any chances of heat.

How to keep an open pack safe from getting spoiled

If you have opened a pack of powdered milk and don’t have an air-tight container to store it in, then make sure that you have clips that will hold the packet in place and are tight enough to not allow any milk powder to fall through the crevices.

Why freezing powdered milk is not a good idea

Most of the people who use milk powder need it everyday or most of the days and will probably finish a pack in a few months to a year. This means that there is no need to prolong the shelf life of the powder by freezing it.

If you accidentally have a bulk of powdered milk and want to store it for years to come, maybe then freezing will serve you well but it is imperative that you check the best-by date before planning to freeze the powder

In this case it is literally true that you should not cry over ‘’spoiled’’ milk, you know the signs to look out for now. In case, you still somehow have consumed spoiled milk, you might feel stomach aches or in the worst cases, a food poisoning case. . 

Powder milk also comes in two forms, the non-fat ones stay fresh for a longer time as compared to the whole-fat milk powder. 

Other FAQs about Milk that you may be interested in.

Can I feed my cat milk?

Can I drink curdled milk?

Can dogs have oat milk?


This article pointed out ways to know if milk powder is spoiled. You also found information on how milk powder is made and we talked about storing milk powder properly.