30 Year Old Powdered Milk

Yesterday, I was given a can of powdered milk that was produced by Sam Andy about 30 years ago. Being interested in long-term storage foods, I had to open it and do a taste test. Now, Sam Andy is a company that’s been around for a long time. I first encountered them in the late 1960’s. Since then, they seem to come and go.

The can I was given had no damage and appeared to be in good condition. It was labeled United Commodities International with the words Sam Andy underneath. When I went to open the can, I noticed it was made of a much heavier gauge metal than I currently encounter. There was no oxygen absorber in the can, and it showed on the label that, “A stabilized Storage Atmosphere introduced as packed”.

The contents of the can looked fine, but I noticed a slight odor of rancidity. It was faint so I mixed some up and taste tested it. The taste was not bad considering its age. In an emergency, it could be used. I did not die from drinking this, but I have no way of knowing what nutrients it might still contain.

The milk reconstituted without any problem

My friend had several cases of this milk, my recommendations to him were to keep the rest in his storage. But consider it second rate. It could be used to help others, perhaps, or to feed animals.


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13 thoughts on “30 Year Old Powdered Milk”

  1. I applaud your willingness to try 30 year old milk but if it’s potentially rancid then why are you drinking it? Your health isn’t worth it! Remember that the “nose knows” what’s best for us… even when we beg to differ.

    1. no worse than eating at the local cattle trough. Thats what I call the all you can eat buffets. Probably worse stuff growing on the food there than what was in the 30 year old can of sealed powdered milk.

    1. In VN in 1969 we were eating “C” rats dated from the mid 1940’s, Ham&lima beans, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo although I did acquire a taste for “Ham&eggs, Chopped, water added.”

  2. The question of the milk being rancid is important for obvious health reasons, especially in an emergency. But the real question which cannot be answered by a taste or odor test is the remaining nutritional value. The question with most aged canned food (powdered milk included) is not just if it is edible, but if it can sustain an person. Nutrients contained within food break down over many years and while the food may be safe to consume, it may add little to no value in keeping you alive in an emergency. It might even create a nutritional debt as our bodies must expend resources to digest food in the first place. The fact that it smelled slightly rancid may be a good indication of the break down of proteins in the milk. It is interesting to see how long food can last if properly stored so I don’t blame you for giving it a try for the sake of posterity, but it may not be of much help in a long-term situation.

  3. Really, when you think about it, old milk is pretty much just cheese. While I understand that old powdered milk is not the same as yummy cheese, and sounds pretty gross when it comes to using it, I’ve come to learn that cheeses are generally not healthy to eat until after they have been aged at least 12 months. There are cheeses that are older than 30yrs which are extremely prized and very expensive. Recently a Wisconsin store owner found some cheddar in his store that somehow got overlooked that dates back 40yrs! The store owner sold/is selling it at a mere $10 per oz!
    The story is here —> https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/wisconsin-cheese-mart-str_n_1844598.html

    I would have no problem drinking it, even if in ten yrs from now! :O)

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