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Question for a Food Chemists Re: Condensed Milk

Justpaula Aug 1, 2012 12:45 PM

...or any chemist, or someone who understands chemistry, particularly food chemistry. Or maybe just someone who has read an article pertaining to this topic.

One of my Facebook friends asked why sweetened condensed milk does not freeze. I asked if it hardens at all...but she said not at all. Hmmmm...I must find out!

I assume it has something to do with milk solids and the high fat and sugar contents. Alas, this is just an assumption, as I know nothing about chemistry.

I did an internet search and some people report that you *can* freeze sweetened condensed milk, so I am not even sure if my question is a valid one.

Not the most important thing in the world...just curious. I am quite confident that there are a few CHers who are more than capable of setting me straight so I can report back to my friend. Thanks!

P.S. - Not sure if this is the correct board...?

  1. Justpaula Aug 1, 2012 08:27 PM

    Thanks for the info! It all seems to make sense. I keep my freezer at exactly 0F, at least that is what I have it set at. I may have to do an experiment.

    1. kubasd Aug 1, 2012 02:49 PM

      the high sugar and solids to water ratio. Sugar by itself lowers the freezing point of water, and with the solids, that further lowers it.

      1. raytamsgv Aug 1, 2012 02:31 PM

        Pure water has a freezing point of 32F/0C. But when you put stuff in the water, it lowers the freezing point. Milk is mainly water but has other molecules in it. It freezes at around 31F/-0.5C. If you dilute milk with more water, the freezing point would creep back toward 32F/0C. It's all about the ratio of water molecules to other molecules.

        Condensed milk has an even lower ratio of water molecules to other molecules. Sweetened condensed milk supposedly freezes at 5F/-15C.

        In other words, it can be frozen, but you need a colder freezer.

        For reference:

        http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1606

        http://books.google.com/books?id=6ry7...

        3 Replies
        1. re: raytamsgv
          drongo Aug 1, 2012 03:05 PM

          I thought a domestic freezer should get to 0F. So I think it should freeze?

          1. re: drongo
            raytamsgv Aug 1, 2012 03:27 PM

            I guess it depends on the freezer and the coldness setting.

            1. re: drongo
              dave_c Aug 1, 2012 03:32 PM

              I agree. Home freezers should easily achieve 0F and even -10F, but you'll be surprised how many people keep freezers a bit warmer.

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