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Re-design of the dairy industry for sustainable milk processing


Industrial food production serves to satisfy basic human needs and the dairy industry accounts with 13% turnover for the total food and drink industry in Europe. The aim of the project SUSMILK is to initialise a system change within the whole process chain for market milk and milk products to minimise energy and water consumption and establish renewable energy resources. Milk processing is characterised by a large variety of heating and cooling processes. Main R&D activities are intended to substitute steam as heat transfer medium by hot water produced by means of renewable resources. Supply of heat and electricity shall completely be fulfilled by combined heat and power generation, heat pumps, solar heat and, where appropriate, on-site produced biogas or other renewable fuels produced from waste utilisation. As process machines and equipment are often used over periods of times up to 30 years in food industry, such innovations will have an impact on energy consumption and CO2-emissions for the next decades. To assure a sustainable supply of energy and raw materials over such a long time, the system change is overdue.
To keep hygienic standards water consuming CIP processes are necessary, which produce wastewater with high organic load. Closing water circuits, recycling of CIP solutions and recovery of the inherent heat is a second challenging part of the project. As a further means to save water and energy, the pre-concentration of milk on the dairy farm will be investigated. This measure has the potential to reduce transport energy, to reduce the sizes of tanks and machines in the dairy and increase the efficiency of production processes for cheese, yoghurt and other such products.
The whole project includes the development of technical components, their installation and testing at partner dairies of all sizes as well as a process simulation of a “green dairy” and the life cycle assessment (LCA) of such a facility.

Call for proposal

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Hansastrasse 27c
80686 Munchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Walter Krause (Mr.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (21)