Originally hailing from Latin America, dulce de leche (DL) is one of the most widely manufactured dairy products in South America, where it is marketed as a paste or bar. Due to DL’s low moisture content, the product can be safely stored at room temperature, which facilitates storage and transportation logistics. The primary ingredients used to manufacture DL are milk, sucrose, and an acidity reducer. Needless to say, the raw materials must be of good quality from reliable suppliers in order for the final product to have the desired characteristics. The milk used to make DL must be microbiologically safe, remain stable during thermal processing, and preferably exhibit a high solid content. Dulce de leche is defined as a product made with or without the addition of other food substances that is obtained from milk or reconstituted milk and added sucrose (either partially substituted or not by monosaccharides and/or other disaccharides) via concentration and heat action at normal or reduced pressure. This chapter aims to explore the chemistry, processing technology, and most common industrial practices for manufacturing DL in South America.
Part of the book: Milk Production, Processing and Marketing