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Practices -- Storage

Is dried milk that is two years old good? Also would storing it in a plastic container (unopened) make it a better product?

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First, the date that appears on a package is established by the manufacturer/processor. The basis of these dates is that if stored properly this product will be of optimal quality until that date. Therefore, use the manufacturer's date as the guideline for when should the product be used. Secondly, the nutritive value of foods will decrease over time. Vitamin losses during storage and distribution of foods will vary widely, depending on the temperatures to which they are exposed during distribution and storage. Retention of a number of vitamins is markedly decreased by storage at temperatures higher than room temperature. However, storage of canned goods for up to one year at temperatures lower than 70 to 75 F results in less than 10 to 20% change in concentration of vitamins. Therefore, store the foods in a cool, dark environment and they will have minimal loss of vitamins. Mineral concentrations are fairly stable in packaged, dry foods, even if exposed to higher temperatures.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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