The value of milk standardisation
The world’s leading dairy exporter, Fonterra, is using milk standardisation to produce consistent end products across multiple factories and using a constantly varying milk supply.
The standardisation generally occurs early in the process when milk is taken from silos into milk treatment. This creates a standardized milk flow downstream to the cheese vats or the dryers, whatever the process might be. Different analytical solutions are used according to the task in hand and the scale of production.
Large milk powder plants use the FOSS ProcesScan™ solution to automatically measure and adjust the composition of incoming milk, for example by adjusting for the amount of cream in milk going into the process. The ProcesScan is an infrared - based analytical solution aimed at high production volume operations where it provides a significant return on investment through improved yield, product consistency and reduced cost of manual sampling. Fonterra has more than 30 units installed at the majority of Fonterra powder plants and some cheese plants.
In addition, smaller desktop analysers are used to measure at other check points, for example at the output of the dryer, allowing operators to monitor the drying process for the all-important powder moisture content.
Tristan Hunter, manager of the company’s Advanced Process Control team, has worked with concept of standardisation at Fonterra for over six years and is clear on two main reasons why it is important to the company. “Firstly, from a processing point of view, we can manage the composition to get a very consistent product with the right characteristics and functionality for our customers,” he says. “And secondly, because we have a very good control of the product, we see benefits in terms of yield.”
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