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ADPI Through the Decades

“Milk is one of the new natural food products which contains all these things [calcium-phosphorus, minerals, vitamins, fat, carbs, protein] in the highest proportion to weight. That is, in a form useable in Iceland, Labrador, Greenland, Panama and Australia.”

~ Major Herman of the US Army


Dairy products were being used in hundreds of food products, from sausages, puddings, pie fillings, chocolate drinks, canned and dry soup, candy, cereal and baked products.

The 1941 Annual Meeting focused on the nutritional consumption of milk by humans through an ADMI-funded study in Florida. The research found that the general population of Florida was malnourished by maybe as much as 75%, specifically children, and that by adding dried milk solids to school lunches, nutrition in this population saw dramatic positive results.

The US Army began increasing its use of dry milk solids to replace using milk to feed the impending war population of soldiers, thus driving production and innovation.

ADMI and EMA: World War II

  • ADMI, EMA and its members played a critical role in the food success of the Allies during WWII.
  • Increased supply to other countries, with a large majority heading to Russia.
  • U.S. Army increased its use of dry milk solids to feed the impending war population of soldiers.
  • The ADMI laboratory helped create a hardtack biscuit that underscored the nutritional aspect of dry milk, and highlighted ADMI contributions to the war effort.
  • ADMI created a standing “Defense Assistance Committee” to focus on collaboration with the Army and government for war supplies. This committee focused on:
    • Staffing issues: When young men would be called to war, who would work the plants? Run the farms? Who will man the supply chains?
    • The increased need for packing companies to cover shipping supplies for the war.


  • The first Recommended Dietary Allowances table was produced by the Food and Nutrition Board that featured milk.
  • Dairy was still being rationed heavily due to the high demand and supply shortfall.
  • 1943 was the first year that women were allowed to attend sessions at the Annual Meeting.


  • HR 140 was passed to formulize the use of “nonfat dry milk solids.” 
  • Milk alternatives, imitations, and substitutes were on the rise due to the war and rationing. While the industry couldn’t stop the imitations, most all consumers noted a decline in product quality with replacements for dairy.
  • Expanding Membership Scope: The Dry Whole Milk Manufacturers and a group of Dried Whey Manufacturers requested membership to ADMI and the first whey committee was formed.


  • ADMI launched a massive campaign, dedicating $1M to research, merchandising and advertising of dairy products.
  • The Standards Committee was working on standards for dry whole milk and dry buttermilk.


Due to WWII, changes in the food industry over the last 10 years were forcing the dairy industry to rethink its role based on innovations like freezing foods and ingredient packaging. 

1949 | Foreword from ADMI Annual Meeting

“We’ll do the best we can.” No halfway measures, no easy way out. But always, “Do the best we can”. That is reflected in over a score of years of steady development and progress in the work and influence of the American Dry Milk Institute.

In 1949, the industry was shifting on how to grow now that the government wasn’t the only buyer.



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