Dairy processing overview

The dairy industry has long been directed towards maximising the recovery of complementary products from milk, wherein milk is separated and processed into a range of products that maximise the recovery of the various components of milk. At the most basic level milk can be separated to produce cream and skim milk. Cream can be converted into butter and buttermilk powder (BMP), while skim milk can be spray dried to SMP. Alternatively, milk can be processed into cheese with the whey converted into ricotta cheese and the remainder fractionated into whey protein, lactose and dairy salts. A typical mass balance for a range of products from milk is shown in Fig. 14.2.

Year

Fig. 14.1 Trends in dairy product production 1980-2014. Data from OECD

Year

Fig. 14.1 Trends in dairy product production 1980-2014. Data from OECD

Table 14.2 Worldwide cheese production 2000-2005. Data from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (2005)

Country

Worldwide cheese production ('000 tonnes)

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004 (p)

2005 (f)

European Union-25

5 861

5 865

5 993

6 117

6 292

6 364

United States

3 746

3 747

3 877

3 900

4 020

4 150

Brazil

445

460

470

460

470

480

Egypt

380

395

410

450

455

457

Australia

373

374

413

368

391

400

Argentina

445

440

370

325

345

360

Russia

220

260

340

335

330

335

Canada

328

329

350

342

326

330

New Zealand

297

281

312

301

313

319

China*

194

202

210

217

225

233

Ukraine

67

105

129

169

200

200

Mexico

134

140

145

126

130

132

Japan

34

34

36

35

35

35

Korea

15

20

20

23

25

27

Other countries (c)

3 832

4 185

4 189

4 182

3 941

4 088

Totalf

16 371

16 837

17 264

17 350

17 498

17 910

(p) Preliminary; (f) forecast; (c) calculated by difference. * China data from Freeman (2005). f World totals from FAO-GIEWS (1997-2005).

(p) Preliminary; (f) forecast; (c) calculated by difference. * China data from Freeman (2005). f World totals from FAO-GIEWS (1997-2005).

Fig. 14.2 Dairy product yield from 10 000 L of milk, 2003/2004. Source: Dairy

Australia (2004).

Fig. 14.2 Dairy product yield from 10 000 L of milk, 2003/2004. Source: Dairy

Australia (2004).

Dairy manufacturing plants produce a range of dairy products depending on scale, location of plant and proximity to market. Dairy plants producing fresh milk and products with a short shelf-life, tend to be located on the fringe of urban centres close to consumer markets. In contrast, plants manufacturing items with longer shelf-life - such as butter, milk powders, cheese and whey powders - tend to be located in rural areas closer to the milk supply (UNEP 2000).

In recent years the dairy industry in most major dairy countries has undergone rationalisation, with a trend towards larger but fewer plants. Consequently, manufacturing plants located in Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Australia tend to be quite large and automated. Such technological developments have enabled more efficient processing, including the adoption of membrane processing enabling the recovery of dairy solids that would otherwise be lost. However, large plants can also lead to increased environmental loadings in areas in close proximity to the factory.

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