What is it for: Nonfat Dry Milk in Gluten-free Protein Waffle Mix

Previously in the “What is it for” series, we discussed casein and its function in our Wise Waffle Mix. Now, let’s explore nonfat dry milk and its uses in baking, particularly in our gluten-free protein waffle mix.

What is nonfat dry milk?

Nonfat dry milk is exactly what it sounds like. It starts with full cream milk; the cream is removed by a centrifugal separation, and then the remaining skim milk is passed through a spray dryer and its related system components. And yes, it’s also known as skim milk powder.

Skim milk powder in a wooden bowl

According to the USDA, there are two grades of nonfat dry milk: U.S. Extra Grade and U.S. Standard Grade. Generally, U.S. Extra Grade, with its sweet, rich, milky flavor and creamy color, is used in baking. In contrast, U.S. Standard Grade typically has a slightly lower quality compared to the Extra Grade.

The role of nonfat dry milk in wise waffle mix

In our Wise Waffle Mix, we use nonfat dry milk to adjust the protein content, specifically the Casein:Whey ratio. We’ve mixed it so that there’s enough whey for a quick release of amino acids, followed by a slower release from casein. This approach theoretically ensures a sustained release of amino acids. Also, nonfat dry milk boosts the protein content without adding the chewiness often caused by excessive casein. It is also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.

By incorporating nonfat dry milk into our mix, we also introduce the natural sugar found in milk, known as lactose. Lactose is a type of reducing sugar, which some adults may have trouble digesting. However, as with many things in life, it’s a matter of dosage. In small amounts, most people do not experience any adverse reactions. According to a meta-analysis paper, most adults will not experience adverse reaction up to 12 grams of lactose in a single intake, and approximately 18 grams of lactose spread throughout the day. For reference, wise waffle contain approximately 6 grams of lactose per serving. During the baking process, this lactose plays a crucial role by participating in the Maillard reaction, leading to a pleasant browning effect on the waffles.

The Maillard reaction is a chemical process that occurs when proteins and reducing sugars like lactose are exposed to heat. This reaction is responsible for the development of rich flavors and the golden-brown color in baked goods. It enhances the taste and aroma, transforming simple ingredients into a delightful sensory experience. In the case of our waffle mix, the Maillard reaction ensures that each waffle has a deliciously appetizing appearance and a complex flavor profile.

perfectly brown waffle drizzled with maple syrup topped with wonderful toppings

From a manufacturing perspective, nonfat dry milk aids in the physical properties of our mix. It helps to improve the flow of the powder during production, which is crucial when dealing with large quantities. Yes, ensuring a consistent flow is essential in manufacturing processes.


As we’ve delved into the world of nonfat dry milk, it’s clear that this ingredient is not just a nutritional powerhouse but also a culinary game-changer. Its inclusion in Proven Provisions’ Wise Waffle Mix is a testament to our commitment to creating products that are not only delicious but also nutritionally beneficial. We invite you to experience the difference for yourself and join us in a journey of taste and health.

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