Color, an aspect of the appearance of food, is a key indicator of quality. It is also an important indicator of safety as consumer tend to use sensory characteristic like appearance to determine whether the food is safe for consumption. Any milk manufacturers understand the importance of color, utilize color measuring instruments to help them ensure the right color is achieved consistently.
The color of milk is vulnerable to change during the manufacturing process, especially powdered. This is due to high heat exposure during processing that give rise to maillard reaction. This chemical reaction not only alters the appearance of powdered milk, but also affects the taste. Careful color monitoring is required to ensure consistency as well as to evaluate manufacturing process variables that might induce color change.
Within the research and development stage, the use of color instruments can help milk manufacturers determine the optimal blending process of milk powder. In the process control stage, color instruments can be used to monitor color during heat process.
The commonly used parameters to define color quality of milk are the CIE L*a*b* and CIE L*C*h color spaces. With the help of color instruments like Konica Minolta Spectrophotometer CM-5, milk manufacturers can measure and evaluate the color of milk powder with ease.