Benefits of UF in the Dairy Industry
Countries most active in the study of the properties and processing of UF milk retentates are France, U.S.A., Holland, England and Australia. The earliest and currently the largest dairy application of UF is in the production of functional (i.e., undenatured) whey protein concentrates. Reverse osmosis is also used in whey processing.
Potential benefits of membrane processing are:
Reduced Farm Feed Costs. Permeate which could be removed at the farm contains lactose, minerals and some nitrogen.
Cheese Manufacturing Costs. Reduced cooling and heating costs, lower rennet needed, reduced capital equipment costs, and increased yield from better retention of whey proteins in the cheese.
Transportation Costs. On farm UF would reduce milk volume by a factor of at least 2, and UF-thermized milk could be picked up less frequently
Economic Benefits to the Farmer of performing UF on the farm, are savings in both transportation and feed costs and the opportunity to market a value added product.
Product Standardization. It is possible to standardize the protein, fat and non-fat solids of all dairy products. For example fluid milk is now skimmed to a legal minimum of 3.25% fat so that on average about 6.0 kg of fat is removed per 1,000 kg of milk. UF makes it possible to skim protein in the same way as we now skim fat. This practice will be increasingly attractive as the value of milk protein relative to milk fat increases.
New Products. New cheese varieties, dairy spreads, high protein milks, milk based meal supplements.