Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MILQ-QC-TOOL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18176
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Netherlands

Drink your milk

A dairy-focused initiative developed a powerful online heat treatment tool. This will allow smaller dairy sector companies to improve the quality, taste, nutrition and marketability of their products.
Drink your milk
Dairy is an integral part of European industry from Denmark and Ireland to Bulgaria and Greece. The EU-funded project 'The development of predictive models on the Internet for optimisation of heat treatment of raw milk in small and medium-sized dairy companies' (Milq-QC-tool) developed an online application to support the dairy industry. The project enabled small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector to optimise heat treatment in dairy processes and products through access to powerful software that traditionally was mostly available to the sector's larger players.

The application, called WebSim-MILQ, examines a number of parameters related to heat treatment under one platform. Its tried-and-tested predictive models have the potential to support product development, reduce energy use and boost production.

Many SMEs in the sector have only a few people with enough specialised knowledge to upgrade milk quality. The new, user-friendly software offers a more efficient learning curve, allowing companies to grow more quickly in an evolving business environment. This is especially important as food safety regulators and market demands place more pressure on the industry.

The project could save up to 30 % on processing costs through decreased fouling, energy consumption, waste and water usage thanks to an optimised heating process and models for optimal quality and food safety. These models are expected to bring consistency in quality, taste, texture and hygiene. They can also be used to fine tune taste, texture and nutrition.

Lastly, the new know-how on heat treatment will allow SMEs to respond quickly to safety regulations, nutrition requirements or epidemics. In all cases, time to market for new products will be minimised considerably, ensuring sector competitiveness and better control of the end product. The results were made available for interested stakeholders, and the benefits should find their way to the market in the near future.

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