We are a consortium of European SMEs that has identified a promising low energy, time efficient and easy to clean microwave milk processing system that can improve nutritional value and taste of milk and milk products due to shorter heating times required to reach the holding temperatures during heating. Microwave heating will enhance the advantages of UHT (Ultra High Temperature) milk by improving the nutritional and organoleptic quality, comparable to “fresh” HTST (High Temperature Short Time) pasteurised and ESL (Extended shelf life) conventionally-treated milks. The novel system will also increase the shelf life of microwave-treated HTST and ESL milks by reducing the risk of contamination via equipment. Currently most used technology is heating by plate heat exchangers, which requires a cleaning in place system to be used quite often because of milk layers burning at the surfaces of the equipments, leading to increased shut down time. The milk industry aims at reducing the cleaning time of milk processing plants to increase the production time. Therefore, one of the major advantages of the MicroMilk system is the rapid achievement of retention temperature by direct interaction of milk with microwaves; resulting in easier cleanability with subsequent reduction of cleaning time and the minimisation of contamination sources via equipment. Objectives: Create an electro-thermal model of microwave cavity to enable controlled and uniform heating; Design, simulate, optimize and develop a demo-system at 60 l/h; Enhance the microbiological, nutritional and organoleptic quality and the shelf life of milk; Reduce the cleaning time and minimise the contamination sources of milk via equipment; Full HACCP and GMP compliance; Decrease cost of milk treatment from €1,200/tonne with state of the art systems to less than €1,000/tonne, leading the SME participants to > €18million in shared profit within five years after the end of this project.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
L40 8JY Burscough