Use of milk products in biscuits

Milk, cheese and butter are used principally for their flavour benefits in biscuits. Unfortunately, the flavour and colour is variable due to the season of the year and the condition and feeds of the cows producing milk. The melting curve of butter oil may be markedly affected and in extreme cases fat bloom may occur on biscuits made with all butter fat. From a quality control point of view the organoleptic properties of milk products are probably paramount in biscuit manufacture; thus, some degree of blending of different consignments of at least butters and cheeses will aid in maintaining uniform levels.

Biscuits containing butter are often described in such a way that the purchaser's attention is drawn to this fact. Labelling regulations usually demand that a certain minimum level is used in the recipe. For example, in the EU, butter biscuits must contain butter at least to the level of 7% of the dry matter and milk biscuits must have at least 2.4%, of solid whole milk substances calculated on the weight of the dry matter.

Due to their moisture contents butter and cheese can only be used in doughs. However, dried milk, cheese and whey powders are also useful flavour components in sandwich creams. The calcium salt of casein, caseinate, is a valuable protein supplement for high protein or other dietetic biscuits.

A reconstituted milk, perhaps with the addition of some egg, is often used as a surface wash on dough pieces and this produces an attractive glossy colour after baking. If colour is the principal requirement it should be remembered that a solution of glucose or lactose will also perform well and costs rather less.

Yoghurt although valued as a "healthy" food finds little place in biscuits because of its mild and delicate flavour.