When high bacteria content forced a large European dairy to overprocess its milk, the company found itself losing market share. The solution? Installing a Bactofuge unit. Not only did the new machine fix the problem; it helped the company regain its market leadership and also delivered an unexpected spin-off.
High bacteria content in raw milk supplies can have different causes – from long transport distances to inadequate cold storage. For dairy producers, this can pose a major headache.
One large dairy in Europe resorted to tackling the problem by pasteurizing its milk at 80-85°C, some 10°C higher than the industry standard. Not only was this expensive in terms of higher energy costs; it also led to an off-taste in the dairy’s pasteurized milk.
The substandard flavour caused the milk to dwindle in popularity among consumers and the company to lose market share to competitors.
“The dairy contacted us and the problem was immediately apparent. To get a decent shelf life they were pasteurizing at 10 degrees higher than normal,” explains Rolf Månsson, senior separation specialist at Tetra Pak. “The milk then had a different odour and taste and the consumers didn’t like it.”
Installing a Bactofuge unit allowed the dairy to reduce the bacteria content in its milk and reduce pasteurization temperature to normal levels. With the help from Tetra Pak, the milk was then repackaged and relaunched. The impact was instant.
“They took the entire market. The new milk had an excellent taste, and in a new package proved a huge success,” Månsson says.
The good news did not stop there. The protein and bacteria that were removed produced a concentrate that, when heat-treated with yoghurt milk, was found to enhance the texture and taste of the dairy’s yoghurt.
So investing in a Bactofuge unit not only solved the original problem but even gave the client better yoghurt. “It was a true win-win on various levels,” Månsson says.
Tetra Pak® Bactofuge units are traditionally incorporated in the pre-treatment of cheese milk, where typically butter acid spores (Anaerobic spores) are removed. Bactofuge units are also used to enhance the quality of powders, consumption milk and cream where typically aerobic spores (e.g. Bacillus Cerus) are removed.