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Milk vs. Evaporated Milk: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 12, 2024
Milk is a nutritious liquid produced by mammals, used as a drink or food ingredient. Evaporated Milk is a milk with about 60% of its water content removed, used as a concentrated form in cooking.

Key Differences

Milk is the basic, natural form produced by mammals, rich in nutrients like calcium and protein. Evaporated Milk is milk that has undergone a process to remove much of its water content, concentrating its nutrients.
Fresh milk is commonly used as a beverage, in cereals, or for making dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Evaporated Milk is thicker and creamier, used in recipes to add richness without diluting flavor.
The shelf life of fresh milk is limited and it requires refrigeration. Evaporated Milk, in contrast, has a much longer shelf life and can be stored unrefrigerated until opened.
Milk retains all its water content, giving it a lighter texture and flavor. Evaporated Milk undergoes a heating process that removes water, altering its taste slightly, often described as being 'caramelized' or 'cooked'.
Nutritional profiles differ slightly; milk is a good source of vitamins and minerals in its natural state. Evaporated Milk has a higher concentration of nutrients but also more calories and sugar per volume due to the evaporation process.

Comparison Chart

Water Content

Full water content
Reduced by about 60%


Beverage, cereals, dairy products
Richness in cooking, baking

Shelf Life

Short, requires refrigeration
Longer, shelf-stable until opened

Texture and Flavor

Lighter texture, natural taste
Thicker, slightly caramelized flavor

Nutrient Concentration

Standard concentration
Higher concentration per volume

Milk and Evaporated Milk Definitions


Dairy Beverage.
Milk is often consumed as a refreshing drink.

Evaporated Milk

Caramelized Flavor.
Evaporated milk brings a unique taste to desserts.


Cooking Ingredient.
Milk is used in recipes to add moisture and richness.

Evaporated Milk

Concentrated Dairy.
Evaporated milk adds creaminess to coffee.


Calcium Source.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium for bone health.

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk offers concentrated nutrients in recipes.


Cereal Companion.
Milk is commonly poured over cereal.

Evaporated Milk

Cooking Staple.
Evaporated milk is used in baking for its rich texture.


Nutritional Drink.
Milk provides essential nutrients like proteins and vitamins.

Evaporated Milk

Long Shelf Life.
Evaporated milk can be stored in pantries for extended periods.


A whitish liquid containing proteins, fats, lactose, and various vitamins and minerals that is produced by the mammary glands of all mature female mammals after they have given birth and serves as nourishment for their young.


The milk of cows, goats, or other animals, used as food by humans.


Can lactose intolerant people drink milk?

No, they should avoid regular milk due to lactose content.

What is milk?

Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals.

Can milk be frozen?

Yes, but it may separate upon thawing.

What is pasteurization in milk?

A process of heating milk to kill harmful bacteria.

What are the types of milk?

Whole, skimmed, semi-skimmed, and various plant-based alternatives like soy or almond milk.

Is milk a complete protein?

Yes, milk contains all nine essential amino acids.

Is milk good for health?

Yes, it's a source of calcium, protein, and vitamins but should be consumed in moderation.

What is evaporated milk?

It's milk with about 60% of the water removed.

Does milk contain fat?

Yes, the amount varies: whole milk has more fat than skimmed milk.

How long does milk last?

Typically 5-7 days past its 'sell by' date if refrigerated properly.

How is evaporated milk different from regular milk?

It's more concentrated and has a slightly caramelized flavor.

How long does evaporated milk last?

Unopened, it can last months; opened, it should be used within 5 days.

Is milk acidic or alkaline?

Milk is slightly acidic, with a pH just below 7.

Can evaporated milk be used in cooking?

Yes, it's great for creamy sauces and baking.

Can evaporated milk replace regular milk?

Yes, by mixing it with an equal amount of water.

Can you drink evaporated milk straight from the can?

Yes, but it's very rich and thick.

Is evaporated milk lactose-free?

No, it contains lactose like regular milk.

Does evaporated milk need to be refrigerated?

Only after opening; otherwise, it can be stored at room temperature.

What’s the difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk?

Sweetened condensed milk has added sugar; evaporated milk does not.

Is evaporated milk healthier than regular milk?

It's similar in nutrients but higher in calories and carbohydrates due to the concentration process.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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