Increasing eco-efficiency by concentrating dairy fluids

Project entitled:

Improving dairy processing eco-efficiency using an integrated approach to dairy fluid concentration

Yves Pouliot, Michel Britten, Steve Labrie, Alain Doyen, Manuele Margni



Filtering milk to extract water and concentrate proteins is a widespread practice in dairy technology. It makes the production of a host of foods possible, in addition to making processing more eco-efficient. The method calls for the use of “baromembrane” processes, including reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration, which are garnering a growing amount of interest. The result is a concentrate that is rich in proteins, as well as the production of whey, a liquid by-product. The residue from reverse osmosis presents a composition that is very close to water and can be used in dairy plants to reduce the consumption of potable water, whereas the whey obtained through ultrafiltration contains lactose and mineral salts that make it difficult to use. This research, supervised by Yves Pouliot, will measure the energy gains obtained by applying these new practices to cheese processing and the valorization of whey in an industrial context. It will draw on the knowledge and simulation software recently developed by the NSERC-Novalait Industrial Research Chair on Process Efficiency in Dairy Technology. The results will then be used to complete an initial evaluation of the potential of using whey obtained through ultrafiltration on dairy farms.