Tiger nut milk is a watery liquid that is obtained from tiger nuts. Due to its tendency to get fermented by microbiological organisms, the availability of the tiger nut milk has been deemed limited. So, here, we will consider the techniques on how to prevent tiger nut milk from fermenting and the natural preservatives for tiger nut milk.
First, it is important to note that the milk contains several nutrients that promote the growth of micro-organisms. These organisms are usually introduced into the milk during the packaging, handling or storage of the milk. So, to preserve it, we could work with either natural or artificial methods.
The natural methods of preserving tiger nuts start during the preparation of the milk. By employing the use of certain ingredients, you’d be able to extend the life of the milk. Here, we will look at some of those steps;
– Get a cup full of tiger nuts. You could get more if you plan on making a larger volume of tiger nut milk.
Put the tiger nuts in a tall glass container.
– Add in water. The water should be sufficient enough to keep the nuts submerged.
– Now, add in a teaspoon of salt. Salt is a natural preservative that prevents the growth of microbes within a liquid. On adding salt, close the glass jar and then, shake the liquid to allow for uniform distribution of the salt.
– Place the jar of tiger nuts inside a refrigerator. This is another method of preserving the liquid. Most microorganisms cannot survive in cold regions. Keep the jar within the refrigerator for about three days.
– After three days, take the jar out of the fridge and then, pour the contents into a sieve. By now, the skins of the nuts should have softened a great extent.
– Rinse the tiger nuts and then, blend them with about three cups of water.
– Blend the tiger nuts at high speed.
– Pour the blended mix into a milking bag so that you can separate the liquid from the shaft. Ensure that you squeeze the bag hard enough for all the milk to seep out.
– Store the milk in the refrigerator again.
– Refrigerating the milk only preserves it for a couple of days. To keep microbes away from the milk, and consequently prevent fermentation, you might need to adapt artificial methods. Some of these methods include sterilization of the milk, freeze-drying, and packaging of the milk under inert conditions.
Natural preservatives for tigernut milk
There are several natural preservatives for tigernut milk, but then, the commonest method is the addition of salt. It is added to the milk while preparing it. Salt raises the concentration of the milk and ensures that it cannot tolerate the growth of microbes.
The action of microbes on the milk is usually responsible for its fermentation. Fermentation is a process that causes milk to turn sour. Addition of a little salt to the milk thereby acts as a method of preserving it naturally.
The other natural preservatives include the following;
– Citric acid: The high acidity of citric acid makes it hard for bacteria and other microbes to grow within the tiger nut milk. Citric acid can be obtained from lemons, oranges, and limes.
– Ginger juice
– Lime juice
– Pectin: It is usually used in combination with sugar.
– Sodium benzoate preservatives
Some of the methods above could however lead to the thickening of the milk, e.g., the addition of pectin to the milk.
Other processes include pasteurization, which is a method of heating the milk under specific temperatures. That way, fermentation of the milk is avoided due to fact that most of the microbes would be killed by the high temperature of the milk. The heating is usually done within special containers and equipment.
How best to preserve tiger nut milk
For tips on how best to preserve tiger nut milk, employ any of the methods described below;
Store the tiger nut milk in a refrigerator.
This method will preserve the milk for about two to three days. However, to keep the milk for longer time frames, it is recommended to store the milk in freezers.
Soak the tiger nuts in water that is well filtered.
The microbes present in the water used for preparation of the milk usually contribute to the fermentation of the milk. If you can eradicate a great number of them, you’d be able to store the milk for longer without facing any issues.
Package the milk under inert conditions.
This method is one that is utilized in most of the milk production companies. The inert condition is achieved by introducing gases unreactive gases like carbon (IV) oxide and nitrous oxide. The milk is then sealed off with the gases in contact with them.