What is ESL Milk? A Comprehensive Guide

used uht plant tetra pak

 

Everyone knows what UHT-milk is and many know roughly how it is produced. But what about ESL milk? This is a dairy product most consumers never heard of and definitely do not know what the production process behind this kind of milk is. I have even met people working in the dairy business who do not know how ESL-milk is produced. In this article, I will talk about what ESL-milk actually is and the various production processes available to produce it.

 

I. What is ESL milk?

ESL is an acronym and stands for “Extended Shelf Life” which means, as the name implies, that the milk is “longer lasting” and does not spoil as quickly as fresh milk.
Just like fresh milk, ESL milk has to be stored in the fridge regardless of whether it is opened or unopened. This way ESL milk will last drinkable for up to 4 weeks (unopened). In contrast, fresh milk will last 6 – 12 days in the fridge and ultra high temperature (UHT) milk even 3 – 6 months.

 

II. Taste and Nutritional Facts

Even though the taste and nutritional composition of the milk are increasingly changed with every additional thermal and mechanical treatment, ESL milk shows good results in terms of preservation of taste and nutrition. In fact, test subjects in various experiments could not identify by taste which product is ESL milk and which traditionally pasteurized milk.

 

Experts of the Max Rubner Institute can confirm that the overall sensorial properties of pasteurized milk are slightly better than the ones of ESL milk. The average customer, however, is not able to determine those differences.

 

In 2009 the Max Rubner Institute discovered that the concentration of vitamins in ESL milk is almost similar to the concentration of pasteurized milk. Various experiments showed that only 0 – 5 percent of the vitamins get lost during the various process steps.
In many cases also milk fat, milk sugar (lactose) and minerals like calcium have been identical to pasteurized milk.

 

In terms of protein structure, some of the molecules are broken up in the ESL milk during the thermal treatment just like in the case of UHT milk. But this is rather an advantage than a disadvantage as this means that the milk becomes more digestible for humans. Beside the above facts the nutritional value of ESL milk is basically identical to pasteurized milk according to the Max Rubner Institute.

 

III. Market situation

How and when did the ESL milk enter the market and what is the current market situation?

 

Everything started (in Germany at least) in the mid-90s when an organic dairy farmer ended up with more organic milk than he could actually sell. However, he did not want his high-quality milk to be processed to UHT milk.

 

So he approached the biggest milk processor in his region and together they came up with the idea to make the first HT ESL milk. In 1996 the first ESL milk could be bought in German supermarkets.
Even though ESL milk came along with big advantages for farmers and milk processors, the German retail was rather reluctant. So that ESL milk remained a niche product until 2005.

 

Everything changed after 2005 when there were no strict regulations that prescribe how to advertise and name ESL milk. That means there was no need to label ESL milk as an HT product or notify the customer in any other way that it differs from traditionally pasteurized milk. The reason for this approach by the EU regulators were the numerous production processes which were developed to make ESL milk like e.g. microfiltration, direct and indirect heating etc. As a consequence pasteurized milk was simply replaced with ESL milk, still keeping the label “Fresh Milk”.

 

This fact made the fresh milk market share of ESL milk jump from 14 % in 2005 to as high as 80 % in 2008 (figures in Germany). Nowadays traditional fresh milk can be considered the niche product that ESL milk was before.

 

With the rise of the market share, the price of ESL milk dropped considerably. Although ESL Milk had a relatively high price in the early years due to the status of an innovative product, the price today is just as under pressure as that of other milk products.

 

IV. What are the ESL Production Methods/Processes?

The following five methods are currently used to produce ESL milk:

 

  1. indirect heating through a plate or tubular heat exchangers (PHE/THE)
  2. direct heating through steam infusion or steam injection
  3. microfiltration
  4. depth filtration

 

all the above processing alternatives are equally valid ways to make ESL milk, there are no laws or regulations which prescribe a certain production method for ESL milk.

What follows is a more specific description of all the single methods.

 

1. indirect heating through a plate or tubular heat exchanger

This is probably the most common method to produce ESL milk (together with direct heating) because this method allows achieving the highest shelf live results.

 

For this process traditionally pasteurized (and standardized) milk is needed as a basis. After the milk is pasteurized it is then gradually heated by flowing through a PHE or THE until it reaches a temperature of 127 °C which is then held for up to three seconds. After that, the milk is either filled or stored.

 

Storage temperature is at around 5 °C and may by no means rise above 8 °C otherwise we would corrupt the shelf life of the milk.

 

2. direct heating through steam infusion or steam injection

As already mentioned this is one of the most common ways to produce ESL milk. Just like for indirect heating we need pasteurized and standardized milk as our base product.
The milk is heated in a two-stage process, first to 70 °C – 85 °C and then to 127 °C – 130 °C by means of direct heating with steam. The final milk temperature is held for up to three seconds before it is cooled down to 70 °C – 85 °C again. In this kind of systems cooling is done in a vessel also called a flash cooler which has two purposes:

 

  • super fast cooling under a specific vacuum
  • removing the water that was taken on in the form of steam through a rapid drop of temperature

 

Lastly, the milk is homogenized with an aseptic homogenizer and cooled down to 5 ° C storage temperature.

 

3. Microfiltration (MF)

This method was developed to further decrease thermal stress on the milk and to improve its sensory qualities.

 

The first step in this process is to separate the cream from the milk. Afterward, the skimmed milk is sterilized through MF. MF plants apply a so-called cross-flow technique where ceramic membranes with a pore size between 0.8 µm and 1.4 µm are used.

 

99.5 – 99.9 % of all germs are held back by the membranes and gathered in the MF retentate. The cream that was previously separated from the milk is heated to temperatures of up to 110 °C and held at this level for four to six seconds before added to the filtrated milk to reach the required fat content (skimmed, semi-skimmed, whole).

 

Cheese dairies usually have an additional process step. They reuse the retentate by adding it to the cream and homogenizing it before adding the cream to the milk for standardization. If you want ESL milk as the final product this is not necessarily recommended to do because it can decrease your shelf live.

 

As the last step, the standardized milk is pasteurized, homogenized and finally cooled down to storage temperature.

 

4. Depth Filtration (DF)

DF is in all its processing steps identical to MF, except for the filtration process itself. Which I will now describe.

 

DF uses another filtration principle than MF which is derived from the beverage industry. In DF we have two filter units, one pre-filter, and a final-filter. Both units consist of several polypropylene filter candles with pores that measure 0.3 µm in the pre-filters and 0.2 µm in the final filters.

 

A retentate is not produced. In this kind of filtration as all the germs and solids which are held back by the filters are collected in the pores and not on their surface.
As you can guess by the pore size DF captures even more germs which can increase the shelf live of the milk.

 

5. Double Bactofugation

This is a more recent method to produce ESL milk even though it uses a very traditional approach by simply enhancing milk pasteurization by integrating two bacteria removal separators (bactofuges) in series.
This way a considerable amount of spores are removed from the milk mechanically. As the spores have a higher specific density than the milk and the cream they can be separated by using centrifugal force.

 

Of course, the milk also goes through traditional pasteurization after double bactofugation and separation (milk/cream). The shelf life of this milk can reach 20 days or more.

 

V. Final Thoughts

As you can see ESL milk has quite an interesting history. It has developed from a niche product to a market-dominating product within around 13 years. Interesting about this is that hardly anyone (mainly consumers) was really aware of this development because of the lack of labeling regulations. At this point, I will not judge whether this was good or bad as there are reasonable arguments for both sides and this is a topic to which I could dedicate another article in the future.

 

Studies prove that in most cases the consumer does not even taste the difference between ESL and traditionally pasteurized milk. This is not the case with UHT milk though which often has a slightly burned taste. Hence it is a logical move that especially the retail prefers ESL milk over pasteurized milk because of the lack of taste and sensorial differences and higher shelf live which makes handling and logistics more efficient.

 

Besides ESL milk does not equal ESL milk. There are five different ways to produce this kind of milk and all of them have their own effects on taste, smell and vitamin content. The process you choose mainly depends on how high you set your bar for quality and the financial resources at hand.

 

VI. What do you think?

Have you been aware of the different processing methods for ESL milk? What do you think is the best of the five I have mentioned in this article? I am really curious to know your opinion!

 

If you are looking for used milk processing equipment, you can find pasteurizer, ESL and UHT lines on our Website.

Buying Used Dairy Equipment – Advantages and Disadvantages

used separator westfalia msd 130

 

As your dairy business grows, you will necessarily reach a point where you have to decide whether to buy bigger processing and production equipment and if you want to buy used dairy equipment or brand new. This article is supposed to look at the advantages and disadvantages of used and refurbished equipment.

1. Possible Scenario

All the food producers out there will understand the following challenge:

 

The economic situation is very good, sales are going up rapidly and rather sooner than later we will not be able to meet the rising demand for our product. If we want to keep up with orders, we will have to expand our production capacity. In order to do so we have to buy suitable machines (let us assume that raw material/milk supply is no problem).

 

After analyzing the risks and opportunities you come to the conclusion that it would be smart to expand capacities in order to further grow the company.

 

But now another question arises: should you buy used/refurbished equipment or brand new?

 

The following points shall help you to make a profound decision.

 

2. Advantages of Used/Refurbished Dairy Equipment

 

2.1. Market Risk

As of this writing (06.07.2018), the milk price is once again under considerable pressure and currently, no one knows at which price the next low will be.

 

Low prices at the supermarket shelf mean lower margins for the farmers and milk processors.

 

And here we can find an advantage of used and refurbished equipment. In the unfortunate case where milk prices suddenly are dropping drastically, the financial pressure is not too high on your company. The reason is that the price for used and refurbished equipment is rather low and you are free of expensive service contracts that original equipment manufacturers (OEM) usually impose on you when buying a new machine.

 

2.2. Price

Already mentioned in the point above, the price is maybe the major factor why a business should decide for used or refurbished equipment.

 

Often second hand or refurbished machines can be bought for a fraction of the original machine price, meaning that you can save between 70 – 30 % depending on the machine at hand.

 

This kind of saving often does not even require any financing and could even be financed from the cash flow.

 

Here you can find cost efficient dairy equipment that we are currently offering.

 

2.3. Delivery Time

It is often the case that when we discover an opportunity to further grow our business, we need suitable machines immediately or even better yesterday.

 

Well, ever requested an offer for brand new machines at a major machinery producer?

 

Then you know that the delivery times of one year or more for new equipment is not uncommon.

 

This is another big plus for used machines.

 

Delivery times are very short. Even if the machine you want to buy still has to be refurbished, delivery times are usually not longer than three months, in many cases only up to 6 weeks.

 

With the used machines you have the possibility to grow your business and earn money ASAP.

 

2.4. Service Contracts

Everyone loves and wants good service when it comes to machine maintenance. But do you really want to be “forced” into expensive long-term service contracts or choose a reliable partner and change whenever you like?

 

Buying new machines like for example cheese vats or separators, you will often find yourself signing a long-term service contract which is obligatory for the purchased machine at hand.

 

This is not the case for used or reconditioned dairy equipment. Businesses like “M&E Trading Weidner” will offer you doing the necessary service on the machines we sell, but we definitely will not urge by means of a contract to stick with us if you do not want to.

 

2.5 Stable Resale Value/Depreciation

  • At the moment you get a new machine delivered, 10 % depreciation
  • at the moment you have finished installation and start-up, another 20 – 30 %

 

That means at the time your machine has the first operating hour it has lost up to 40% of its original value. That is a shocking number, but the truth.

 

That is not the case for used equipment. Those machines have already lived through their most depreciating times hence only depreciate very little over time.

 

So if you decide to resell your machine after it has done the necessary service for you, it is possible to still get good money for it.

 

3. Disadvantages of Used/Refurbished Dairy Equipment

 

3.1. Durability

I think it is obvious that if you buy a used machine like for instance a cream separator you cannot expect to have a machine that is nearly as durable as a new one. But how about a refurbished or renewed machine?

 

Even though companies like ours always strive to deliver best quality machines with the highest durability, it is still a fact that not in all cases refurbished or renewed machines can compete with new ones when it comes to durability. Even though it is not unusual that especially renewed or to be more precise remanufactured machines, are as durable as if they were new.

 

3.2. Term of Warranty

The warranty for a machine reflects the durability of it. Of course, you get the longest warranty for OEM machines.

 

Buying a used machine “as is” you cannot expect any guarantee at all. Buying “as is” you have to bear the risk that the machine could make problems already after a few months.

 

For refurbished and remanufactured machines many suppliers will already give you a warranty between 3 to 12 months, depending on the machine and scope of work.

 

3.3. Risk of Downtimes

Buying used equipment you have to be aware that you take the risk of downtimes early in the life cycle of your machine.

 

However, in our experience, it is not often that you have downtimes shortly after starting to produce with used equipment. Especially when you let your machine be refurbished or remanufactured you can usually be sure that there won’t be any severe problems in the short and mid-term. But without a doubt, this is another disadvantage compared to OEM machines.

 

4. Conclusion

Used dairy equipment comes with many advantages and is highly recommended when you need new solutions immediately or when you are on a tight budget. Without a doubt, the cost advantage is the most enticing upside of used compared to OEM machines.

 

Furthermore, it makes sense to go with machines from the secondary market if you are building a food start-up or want to test the market with for a new product line before investing in cost-intensive machinery.

 

From a quality and durability point of view, it is definitely worth thinking about investing in remanufactured or at least refurbished machines. You can save up to 70 % of the purchasing price for a new machine and you have something that is almost as reliable as new.

 

Browse through our Listings!

 

Are you looking for used, refurbished or new dairy equipment yourself? Then let me invite you to browse through our offer which you can find by clicking HERE.

Increased Fat Content in the Discharge of you Clarifying Separator

Tetra Pak Clarifying Separator

Having a high-fat content in the discharge of your clarifying separator can be a real nuisance. Basically, this means that your clarifying process is inefficient. Good to know that usually there is one specific reason that is responsible for this error in your process. About this reason, I want to talk in this post.

Introduction

Clarifying separators are basically used to remove, or to put it more precisely, separate non-milk-solids from the milk. Through this process an improved milk quality shall be reached. Separators of this kind are rarely found in countries of Western Europe, where high milk quality is often already assured at the farms. Clarifiers are commonly used in countries or regions where the quality of the milk that arrives at the processors is rather low.
It is clear that milk clarification is an important processing step. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin reveals that there is an average of seven different types of hair in around 70 % of the cheeses and 40 % of the milk samples tested. Quite shocking if you ask me, especially if we consider that these test samples were taken from the U.S market, where milk quality is expected to be good.

 

Increased Fat Content in the Solids Discharge

When using a clarifying separator it is possible that you encounter abnormal fat content in the solids discharge. This usually has one specific reason: the bowl ejections are adjusted erroneous.
We have encountered cases where the problem of high fat content in the solids discharge is uncommonly high. And the main reason for this was that the concerned milk processors worked with total ejections for the discharge of non-milk-solids. Total ejections lead to the complete discharge of the separator bowl, while the feed is interrupted completely. This means that a considerable amount of milk is also discharged every time the clarifying separator executes a total ejection.
Through this approach you are losing milk, “clean” proteins and fat. Conversely that means that you literally lose money through this inefficiency because on the bottom line you are producing less product.
Total ejection ideally for chemical CIP of the clarifying separator, to guarantee best cleaning results.

 

Solution

Knowing that total ejection most probably is the reason for increased fat content in the solids discharge, the solution should be obvious: Adjusting the separator to execute partial ejections. Over the control cabinet you have to program the partial ejection intervals accordingly. In contrast to total ejection, the feed to the separator remains open while partial ejection is executed. Incoming solids load is discharged from the bowl. Complete discharge is avoided this way.
You have to experiment with different adjustments of the ejections of your separator and see what makes you achieve the best results in terms of efficiency. To test your clarification efficiency there are two commonly used methods:

 

  • Filter method
  • Somatic cell determination

 

With the filter method, around 500 ml of your clarified milk is put through a special cotton wool/fabric filter. The wool or fabric holds back any non-milk-solids still contained in the milk. Now the filter has to dry. Afterwards, it has to be examined in the laboratory and depending on the pattern visible, the milk quality can be evaluated.
The somatic cell determination is done by an automatic machine which does a cell count of somatic cells in the milk. The so-called somatic cell count (SCC) is the indicator of the quality of milk. The higher the SCC the lower the milk quality.

 

Best Practice

Unfortunately, it is hardly possible (as so often in life) to give the best practice advice regarding clarification or ejection intervals. Setting up a clarification process obviously depends on many individual factors, especially the quality of the milk that shall be clarified.

 

However there is one advise that I want to leave you with, without going too much into detail: To achieve the best result possible with your clarification process, I highly recommend to clarify your milk when it is warm, for example at 50 – 55 °C. Studies like the one from the University of Wisconsin mentioned above as well as studies conducted by GEA, show that this method achieves the optimum results. Below you can see a layout of an installation for warm clarification.

 

Clarifying your milk is a very important step in milk processing, especially in regions where milk quality is rather low. But using clarifying separators can lead to problems in terms of efficiency. One reason for lower efficiency can be an abnormal (high) fat content in the solids discharge after executing bowl ejection. In this case, you urgently have to move from total bowl ejection to adjustable partial ejections. Adjusted properly you can achieve a high grade of efficiency with your clarifying process again.

 

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Exclusive Machinery Deals for our Subscribers

me trading

 

Some of our newsletter subscribers will remember the very first exclusive deal we presented in our last newsletter. In this deal, we offered two pre-press vats for an incredibly good price.
The resonance was overwhelming! Our customers immediately recognized the opportunity at hand and “flooded” our inbox with inquiries. It didn’t take a week and we ended up selling the pre-pressing vats, making a much-valued customer happy.

 

After experiencing this kind of enthusiasm for our exclusive offer, we decided to send out this kind of deals on a more regular basis. However, those special offers won’t be available to everyone. We do not plan to publish them on our website or to reveal them when someone inquires for a machine for which we usually have a special price. Our exclusive deals will only be available to our newsletter subscribers and no-one else.

 

That means if you are reading this, haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, but want to benefit from incredibly good prices for all kind of dairy equipment, you should subscribe to our newsletter now. Scroll down on this page and you will find an opportunity to subscribe to our newsletter and at the same time be able to receive our best deals-

 

We will have deals for all kinds of dairy machines. For milk processing equipment like separators, cheese equipment, ice cream processing equipment and many more. Please also tell your friends and colleagues who are active in dairy business about this campaign, they will thank you for it :-).

 

I really hope I can serve you with great offers in the future!

 

Big “Thank You” to all subscribers!

Never do this Milk Processing Mistake: Bactofugation before Separation

GEA Westfalia bactofuge

Bactofugation before Separation. At first sight, this might seem smart. However, if you examine this processing approach more thoroughly it becomes obvious that this is a big mistake, especially in a country where milk quality is rather poor. In this article, I want to explain why.

This is the line of thought: Why should I implement my bactofuge after the cream separator? If I implement it before it I would not only receive bacto-optimized milk but also bacto-optimized cream! That’s how I do it! Great idea!

Well, but what seems a great idea, can, in fact, become a real disaster, especially if this process is applied in a region with poor milk quality.

And here is why:

Doing this, you are processing raw milk with your bactofuge which comes into your machine just as it was pumped into the milk storage tanks in the dairy farms. That means all the foreign matter that may have gotten into the milk while milking the cows gets into your bactofuge as well. If you are living in a country where the hygienic standards in the dairy farms are rather low, your bacto-seperator receives a big amount of “dirt”. The result is that you cannot operate your machine properly because of the constant discharges necessary to keep bactofuge running. In the end, this error will cost you time and money.

If you really want to apply bactofugation before separation then you should implement a milk clarifier before the bactofuge. This will remove foreign matter from your milk so that afterward you can run your bactofugation process smoothly.

At last let us dismantle the argument, that you have cream of higher quality running raw milk through the bactofuge.

Actually, this isn’t wrong. However, the improvement of your cream through bactofugation in comparison to separation is so marginal that it doesn’t make sense to bactofugate the cream. Assuming that your separator is adjusted correctly, your cream is regarded as clean after separation. The reason is the lower density of the cream resulting to stay in the center of the separator while the bacteria are hurled to the “outside”.

I hope with the help of this article you will never have to make this mistake yourself. One of our customers had to feel the effects of this mistake and it was a disaster. Against our advice, he decided to try bactofugation before separation anyway. Realizing the problems that come with this type of process, he was forced to set up the process from new and following our advice to implement bactofugation AFTER separation.

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Visiting a Cheese Dairy which is producing 30 t/d

Tetra Pak Casomatic

Recently we have visited a big cheese dairy in the south of Germany. This dairy is producing around 30 tons of cheese per day and is focusing on the production of Cheddar Cheese. During this visit, we have made some interesting footage of the processes which I want to present to you.

Recently we have been to a Cheddar Cheese production site and had the chance to take a look at the whole process, from milk processing all the way to packaging. We also used the opportunity to make some interesting footage. Which I will show to you in this blog post. To present the videos the best way possible I have divided them into three parts, according to the actual production process. Unfortunately, the evaporation process is not included in this three-step video series.

 

Step No. 1: Milk Processing

Let us start with milk processing. The first step is, of course, the reception of the milk when it is delivered to the dairy and the subsequent processing.
When the milk trucks release their milk into the milk storage tanks of the dairy, the milk is usually being processed shortly after that. In this step that the milk is being processed with a bactofuge, reduced in its fat content by separating the cream from the milk and pasteurized to eliminate further bacteria to extend shelf life. The video of this step you can see here.

The equipment is designed to process over 25.000 l/h, all manufactured by GEA Westfalia/Ahlborn. There is even a GEA Westfalia CSE bactofuge which is capable to process 60.000 l/h.

 

Step No. 2: Cheese Production

After milk processing, the next step is the actual cheese making process. This one is really interesting. Here you can see the production of Cheddar Cheese step by step, up to the point it is actually ready to be packed.
The three cheese vats have all a volume of 20.000 l, manufactured by Pasilac. To remove the whey from the cheese curd, this dairy is using a drainage belt. The pressing of the Cheddar is done with a Casomatic plant. The video of the cheese making process you can see here.

 

Step No. 3: Packaging

For the last part I want to show you the cheese packaging process. Here we have actually two different processes. The first one is the packaging of the big 18 kg cheese blocks and the second one is the packaging of small 3 kg bars.
The equipment that is mainly being used to pack the cheese is vacuum packaging and sealing machines by Cryovac. Apart from that weighing and labeling equipment by Leich und Mehl and cheese cutting solutions by Alpma are being used here. The video of the packaging process you can see here

 

I hope you found this post and the videos interesting. If you liked it I would be glad if you shared this with your colleagues and other people who might find this useful.

 

Used Cheese Dairy Equipment for Sale

By the way: this cheese dairy will be closed in 2019. All the machines and plants you saw in the videos will then be for sale. If you are interested in some of the machines you are welcome to get in touch with us because we are already looking for potential buyers.
If you want to know more about the cheese dairy and the equipment that will be for sale you should have a look at the offer we have on our website.
Thank you for reading this article and watching our video! We really appreciate your interest!

Cheese Slicing and Packaging Equipment

Used Weber Slicer

With this post, I want to inform you about a new category we have implemented on our website. We decided so, in order to improve the discoverability of the cheese slicing and packaging equipment and at the same time enhance the user experience on our website.

Before we decided to take this step, all the machinery of this kind was located in the “Filling and Packaging” category, meanwhile redefined as “Filling Equipment”. We thought the old designation could be perceived as a little misleading to visitors who landed on our website to primarily looking for slicing and packaging machines for cheese products. In the end, this could be leading the visitor to leave our website, thinking we do not offer this kind of equipment, so we are left losing a potential business deal.

Another reason to create a new category was the overload on equipment in the former “Filling and Packaging” category. There was too much scrolling involved to reach the footer of this page. We thought that a potential customer could get tired of endless scrolling while browsing through our offer and leave without even reaching the bottom of the page; again making us lose a potential customer.

However, the idea that scrolling would annoy our customers an make them leave our Website isn’t an idea that applies to all sites. Here you have to thoroughly dive into the psychology of your target audience and ask questions like:

  • What is their user behavior?
  • What are their motives when they visit your website?
  • What factor does time play when they are browsing websites?
  • etc., etc…

Last but not least, with opening up a new category for cheese packaging equipment, we aim to improve the Google rankings for our website. Opening up another page, optimized for a narrowly defined kind of product/equipment improves our performance for long tail keywords (in this case) like “cheese slicing and packaging equipment”.

At the end of the day,  this approach serves both, our customers and us. Our customers benefit from better discoverability of the equipment they are really looking for as well as better user experience. We, on the other hand, increase the possibility of closing deals.

As a matter of fact, we have recently added a lot of used equipment for slicing and packaging of cheese to our website. For example, we offer cheese cutting and grating equipment which can be combined with a multi-head scale attached to a flow pack machine, we offer as well. Or a complete slicing line, from slicing to packaging of the cheese. Here you can find all the packaging machines we currently offer

Thank you for processing this article!

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Case Study: Finding the Solution for a Blocked Separator

GEA Westfalia Cream Separator
There is a wide range of problems/challenges you can face with a separator. One of our most recent customers got to feel that himself. Luckily he is not a person who is ashamed of making mistakes and asked us straightforward if we would know the solution to the challenge he was struggling with.

 

Recently we have visited a customer in Ukraine. Originally we met him to talk about equipment and processes to produce Gouda cheese. However, our business partner asked us to follow him into his operating rooms to show us a problem he is facing since he has bought a new separator (which they did not buy from us by the way). What he showed us, you can see in the pictures below. Basically, the plates of his separator are suffering from sediments and after emptying the separator they find residue which has more than a strange color an on top of that is much thicker than usual.

 

After a short investigation it was clear that there have been made two mistakes:

 

First of all the Separator was deficient. Obviously, the machine was missing 5 plates. Second, the dairy processed its milk on a „cold“ separator which means they missed to pre-heat it e.g. with the help of hot water. What happens when you make such mistakes, you can see on the pictures above: Cream sediments block your separator, the plates suffer and an abnormal residue empties your separator.

 

Luckily our business partner introduced the challenge he was facing to us. Imagine: his technologist was saying that they would need an additional clarifying separator to solve this issue, what obviously was wrong.
We on the other side recommended to add the missing plates and to pre-wash the machine with hot water in order to pre-heat it. As an interim solution, until the separator plates are delivered, we suggested that they should try to tighten the plates. This bridged (more or less) the missing plates.

 

In the end, fixing this issue according to our recommendations saved the dairy money for a separator, their financial planning just did not allow.

Visiting A Major German Ice Manufacturer

Ice Cream Filling Line Big Drum

 

On the 25.02.2016 Vitali and I have arranged a meeting with a major ice cream manufacturer in Germany. As this manufacturer had several machines and whole lines for sale he invited us to his production site to inspect the machinery. On top of that, there was an unfortunate incident while our visit.

The Journey

 

The named manufacturer has invited us to his production site in the north of Germany at 9 o’ clock. For us this meant to depart early at 5:30 o’clock in the morning because from our office in Gifhorn (Germany) we would have to drive at least three hours. Considering that the rush hour could affect us coming through unhindered, we thought it would be a good idea to calculate an extra half an hour into our travel time.
Fortunately, there have not been any traffic jams or other disruptions along our way, so we authorized ourselves to drink a coffee along with some pastries near the manufactury where we headed.

 

Inspecting The Machines 

 

Arrived at the manufacture, we met with the Used Machinery Manager of the company and he led us through the whole site where we inspected all the machinery which are for sale. What is important for me to mention, is that our “guide” was a very pleasant person. We had some quite interesting and humorous conversations. Best regards to our guide at this point :-).
We got to see many different machines and plants for the ice cream production and most of them will be soon offered on our Website. Here are some examples of what we got to see:

 

  • Diverse continuous Tetra Pak Freezers
  • Spiral freezers for different products
  • A chocolate bar ice cutting line with integrated spiral freezer
  • Sandwich ice production line
  • Compressors
and many more.
Of most of the machines and production lines, we have made detailed footage which we will publish on our Youtube Channel and in our Product Catalogue in form of invitations to tenders. If you want a sneak peek of what we will have to offer in near future concerning ice cream machinery, watch the following video:

 

Unfortunate Incident

 

Unfortunately while our visit, we experienced a bad incident. The following happened:
While we were walking to the next machine we wanted to have a look at, we passed through a hall full of milk storage tanks. In this hall, however, there have already been mechanics who have started to dismantle some of the tanks. Everyone who has been in such a hall knows the number of pipings which have to be disconnected from the tanks.
Now as we passed by one of the tanks which have been dismantled, a mechanic was about to disconnect a stainless steel pipe, somehow lost hold of it so that it then fell and unfortunately hit Vitali’s head and my shoulder. Luckily I duck away otherwise I probably would have been hit on the head too.
Miraculously Vitali was not injured seriously and after a short moment of disorientation, he could go on walking. So to speak we were fortunate in an unfortunate moment.

 

Bottom Line

 

Despite the (little) accident that happened in the tank hall, we had a really nice visit with many and especially valuable impressions. We are now processing all the information and footage we have gathered so that in the next few you can expect our updated website-offer including ice cream machinery.

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Cheers,

The M&E Trading Team

 

MVR VS. TVR Evaporators: Advantages And Disadvantages

Unipektin evaporator

 

Mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) and thermal vapor recompression (TVR) are the two prevailing evaporation methods in the dairy industry. It is undisputed that both have their benefits, but dairies should make a thorough evaluation which of the two evaporation types suits best to their business operation.

 

Thermal Vapour Recompression Explained

 

When evaporation is executed by thermal vapor recompression, a blower, compressor or jet ejector recompresses live steam respectively motive steam. By this means the pressure of the live steam coming from a boiling chamber is increased. The increase in pressure subsequently leads to a higher temperature of the vapor.

 

The compressors used in TVR plants, work according to the steam jet pump principle which means a simple and effective design with high operational reliability.

 

Parts of the steam, the so-called motive steam, is required for operating the compressor. This exact steam is recycled by being transferred as excess vapor to the next effect of the evaporator plant.

 

Mechanical Vapour Recompression

 

MVR Evaporators are comparatively low on energy consumption. There are two reasons for this: is that the compressors of such plants are electricity driven and the vapor leaving the evaporator can be fully recycled. The fact that Evaporators with MVR use electricity to drive the impeller to compress the vapors leads to higher pressure and hence to higher temperatures as well.

 

The allure in MVR lies in the fact that the energy of the vapor is efficiently used to maintain the evaporators heat balance. This decreases the need for additional steam for heating and ensures stable processing conditions.

 

MVR And TVR Compared

 

Evaporators with MVR

                                           

+ energy efficient
+ do not need (that) much space
+ reduced CO2 footprint
+ low long-term costs

 

– very high investment costs
– efficiency depends on production volume

 

Evaporators with TVR

 

+ implementation of flavor recovery possible
+ simple and effective design
+ low wear and tear
+ operational reliability
+ less/low investment costs

 

– high energy consumption
– high long-term costs
– negative CO2 footprint
– intensive in space requirements

 

Conclusion

 

As a conclusion, we can tell that the decision whether to utilize an evaporator with MVR or a plant with TVR depends on several factors like the consideration of steam production cost or the size of the company and its production volume. Below are some factors to consider prior to deciding which kind of evaporator would be suitable for your company.
  • Upfront capital cost
  • Capacity and operating data like annual operating hours
  • Product properties like viscosity
  • Utility requirements like electricity or machine parts exposed to wear and tear
  • Site conditions like space requirements
  • Personnel cost for servicing and operating the plant
  • The legal framework of your production location

 

Generally, MVR evaporators should be used in certain mid-size and all large companies where energy efficiency is a priority, while thermo-compression units tend to limit their use to small units, where energy consumption is less of an issue.

 

Case Study

 

If you are interested in an interesting case study concerning an evaluation of the pros and cons of MVR to TVR .evaporators, I strongly recommend this article.

 

Thank you for processing this article! 🙂
If you found this piece useful, we would be very happy about you subscribing to our mailing list. This way you will never miss an update. You are also welcome to share with your friends and colleagues.

 

Cheers,
The M&E Trading Team