ingredient information
Milk Condensed Whole Sweetened
Prior to the nineteenth century, drinking milk was an iffy situation with regard to health risks. Milk straight from the cow was loaded with bacteria. Milk not consumed within a matter of hours in summer soon spoiled in the heat. Illness allegedly derived from contaminated milk consumption was referred to as "the milksick," "milk poison," "the slows," "the trembles," and "the milk evil." Granted some of these illnesses (considering modern-day knowledge of lactose intolerance) were probably not due to the milk or milk alone, but the stigma persisted. The idea for a portable canned milk product that would not spoil came to Gail Borden during a transatlantic trip on board a ship in 1852. The cows in the hold became too seasick to be milked during the long trip, and an immigrant infant died from lack of milk. Borden realized his goal in 1854. His first condensed milk product lasted three days without souring. He first thought the condensing process of the milk made it more stable but later on realized it was the heating process that killed the bacteria and microorganisms that cause spoilage. Borden was granted a patent for sweetened condensed milk in 1856. The sugar was added to inhibit bacterial growth. Skim milk devoid of all fat was used. Use of this early version lacking in nutrients as a mainstay for young working-class children has been blamed for contributing to a rash of rickets cases in 1905