Malted milk

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A Carnation-brand malted milk can Malted Milk Can.jpg
A Carnation-brand malted milk can

Malted milk is a powdered gruel made from a mixture of malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated whole milk. The powder is used to add its distinctive flavor to beverages and other foods, but it is also used in baking to help dough cook properly.


Malt powder comes in two forms: diastatic and nondiastatic. Diastatic malt contains enzymes that break down starch into sugar; this is the form bakers add to bread dough to help the dough rise and create a certain crust. Nondiastatic malt, on the other hand, has no active enzymes and is used primarily for flavor, mostly in beverages. It sometimes contains sugar, coloring agents, and other additives, depending on the commercial preparation. [1]


William Horlick William Horlick Portrait.JPG
William Horlick
Explorer Ernest de Koven Leffingwell poses with cases of Horlick's Malted Milk on Flaxman Island, Alaska, circa 1910. Leffingwell USGS lek00253.jpg
Explorer Ernest de Koven Leffingwell poses with cases of Horlick's Malted Milk on Flaxman Island, Alaska, circa 1910.

London pharmacist James Horlick developed ideas for an improved, wheat- and malt-based nutritional supplement for infants. Despairing of his opportunities in the United Kingdom, Horlick joined his brother William, who had gone to Racine, Wisconsin, in the United States, to work at a relative's quarry. In 1873, the brothers formed J & W Horlicks to manufacture their brand of infant food in nearby Chicago. [2] Ten years later, they earned a patent [3] for a new formula enhanced with dried milk. The company originally marketed its new product as "Diastoid", but trademarked the name "malted milk" in 1887. [4] [5]

Despite its origins as a health food for infants and invalids, malted milk found unexpected markets. Explorers appreciated its lightweight, nonperishable, nourishing qualities, and they took malted milk on treks worldwide. William Horlick became a patron of Antarctic exploration, and Admiral Richard E. Byrd named Horlick Mountains, a mountain range in Antarctica, after him. Back in the US, people began drinking Horlick's new beverage for enjoyment. James Horlick returned to England to import his American-made product and was eventually made a baronet. [2] Malted milk became a standard offering at soda shops, and found greater popularity when mixed with ice cream in a "malt", for which malt shops were named. [4]


"Malted Milk" is the title of a blues song written by Robert Johnson, interpreted by Eric Clapton on his album Unplugged .

See also

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William Horlick

William Horlick, Sr. was an English-born food manufacturer and the original patent holder of malted milk. He emigrated to the United States in 1869, settling in Racine, Wisconsin. There he started a food company with his brother, James. Horlick was a well-known philanthropist in the Racine area. He was also a major sponsor of the Racine Legion, which played in the National Football League from 1922 until 1924. He died 25 September 1936 at the age of ninety.

A drink mix, or powdered drink mix is a processed-food product, a powder designed to mix usually with water to produce a beverage resembling fruit juice or soda in flavor. Another type of drink mix is represented by products that are mixed into milk.

Sir James Horlick, 1st Baronet

Sir James Horlick, 1st Baronet DL (1844–1921) was, with his brother William (1846–1936), the co-founder of the malted drink Horlicks.

Barley flour

Barley flour is a flour prepared from dried and ground barley. Barley flour is used to prepare barley bread and other breads, such as flat bread and yeast breads. There are two general types of barley flour: coarse and fine. Barley groats are milled to make coarse barley flour, and pearl barley is milled to make fine barley flour. Additionally, patent barley flour is a finer barley flour that is ground to a greater degree compared to fine barley flour.

Malt drink

A malt drink is a fermented drink in which the primary ingredient is the grain, or seed, of the barley plant, which has been allowed to sprout slightly in a traditional way called "malting" before it is processed.


  1. Bates, Anna Thomas. "Malt, the forgotten flavor and nostalgic treat". Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 "The History of Malted Milk Powder".
  3. U.S. Patent 278,967
  4. 1 2 "Wisconsin's Malted Milk Story | Online Exhibits | Wisconsin Historical Society".
  5. "Horlick's Malted Milk Corporation | Photograph". Wisconsin Historical Society. 17 August 2006.