Skimmed milk powder, SMP

When the fat is separated from milk for cream or butter manufacture, a white fluid, rich in lactose and proteins, remains. This is known as skimmed milk and may be concentrated and dried in a similar manner to FCMP. The flavour is strong and this powder is used in many ways during the manufacture of biscuits. The lactose is a reducing disaccharide which is only about 16% as sweet as sucrose but combines with proteins by the Maillard reaction, under appropriate conditions of heat, at the biscuit surface during baking to give attractive reddish brown hues and surface "bloom". Thus, SMP has found widespread use as a minor dough ingredient both to give subtle flavour and textural improvements and to aid surface colourings. It is a rather expensive ingredient for these roles and the use of cheaper sources of reducing sugars (whey powder, glucose and invert syrups) have tended to replace it.

Storage in moisture proof containers at the optimum temperature of 15°C should maintain the SMP in good condition for at least twelve months.