The future: fractionation of valuable products

The global demand for dairy products will grow in the coming years. The future of dairy depends on innovation. To be able to respond to critical consumer demands in areas of health, flavour, and authenticity, guaranteeing the quality of milk and improving the dairy processing process are examples in which innovation remains necessary. In addition, saving water, energy and valuable compounds is becoming an increasingly important topic of which the dairy sector is aware of. Membrane technology is mostly used today to optimize production processes and ensure quality. With the current technology, milk can be separated into components that can be used optimally for the production of high-quality products and ingredients. But how does the future of sustainable membrane technology in dairy processing looks like?

Jos van Dalfsen, our R&D manager was wondering and decided to gain inspiration and knowledge at the Membrane Technology Forum in Minneapolis that took place this month. An event in the membrane technology sector that brings together all the information important concepts and ideas from the basics of membrane technology, as well as emerging new technologies and applications in the dairy sector. Jos shares his findings in this article.

During a three days event, more than 40 presentations were given that focused particularly on the future of dairy processing and what role membrane technology has in this. Jos explains:” there are new technologies on its way. We want to test them and make it available to our customers. We have excellent facilities and pilots available to test new products to use them in our projects”.

A discussion panel also discussed how the amount of innovations is growing worldwide, and about the challenges in applying these innovations in dairy processes. Jos has concluded that: “A new approach is needed in which you have to work together with partners and be able to respond more flexible to requests from customers and the results that you achieve”. A method that fits perfectly within the philosophy of Wafilin Systems.

Another important conclusion is that the applications and role of membranes today focus primarily on concentrating milk flows and/or proteins. But the future is fractionation of valuable products. As Mark Etzel, Professor University of Wisconsin-Madison summarized during his lecture fundamental principles of membrane separation in the food industry: “Concentration is what we do today, Fractionation is what we do tomorrow”.

Jos interpret: “It is easy to separate basketballs from tennis balls, but we are going to a next level in which we want to separate grapes from cherries. Both have their own taste and application, but you need to know how to separate them. Wafilin welcomes this challenge and I believe that we can offer unique processes to achieve this”.

Jos van Dalfsen has gained a lot of know-how through conversations with membrane suppliers, attending the interactive presentations and the guided facility tours. Wafilin will use this know-how to realize acceleration in innovations in dairy applications with membrane technology.

Wafilin is getting ready for the future, do you want to join us? Make an appointment with Jos van Dalfsen: by e-mail or phone: +31 631 74 75 85.

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