Milk Processing

Milk equipment and engineering services
MachinePoint Engineering supplies turnkey milk plants, as well as the specific processes that integrate into an already existing milk plant. If you need to install a new production line for the production of milk, or want to automate some of your current processes, please contact MachinePoint Engineering.

The quality of the processes and installations chosen will in turn affect the hygienic conditions and quality of your product. Each country has its own regulations for marketable milk production that have to be followed precisely. Hygiene and compliance with regulations are key to guaranteeing the quality of packaged milk.

Milk Plants process raw milk that they receive from farmers into marketable milk with a significantly extended shelf life, and package them in various different package types: from glass, to brick to Pet or other plastic bottles or pouches.

MachinePoint Engineering supplies equipment and process engineering for the production of:

  • Fresh milk
  • UHT milk
  • ESL milk
  • sterilized milk
  • low fat milk
  • skimmed milk
  • condensed milk

The process chosen to produce milk can be standard, clean, ultra clean and aseptic. Standard and clean processes produce milk with a shelf life of 10 to 14 days, whilst aseptic processing produces milk with a shelf life of up to 30 days. The type of components such as valves, pumps, etc, as well as the filling, packaging, storing and sterilizing technologies used, will vary depending on the type of process chosen.

Milk production process

Milk is collected from the farmers and trasnported to milk plants for its processing into mass market milk and other dairy products such as: cream, butter, cheese, casein, yogurt, etc.

Milk Reception units
Milk is produced constantly at the farmers´ facilities where the cows are milked. The milk is then transported on tank trucks and delivered to the different dairy and milk plants. Milk is then pumped from the milk tanks into the milk reception units, where the milk is deaerated and tested and then pumped over again to the storing units or the processing line. In the milk reception units, milk is measured and tested, air is eliminated and the milk is cooled before further processing or storing. MachinePoint Engineering supplies milk reception units.

Milk Storage units
Milk can be then stored into tanks or pumps, or can go directly into the processing line from the milk reception units. Milk will be stored in tanks or silos along different phases of the processing line, these inter processing tanks will be automated into the processing line. Aseptic milk storage is required if the milk has followed an aseptic process. MachinePoint Engineering supplies milk storage systems and also aseptic storage systems. Storage systems can vary from a very basic system that is manually handled, to one that is completely automatic and combined alongside CIP systems and sterilization units. Please see our storage system offer and aseptic processing.

CIP systems are a requirement throughout the whole manufacturing process so as to guarantee hygienic maintenance of the installations and milk hygiene. MachinePoint Engineering supplies CIP and SIP systems.

Milk sterilization
The process of reducing the microorganism is called sterilization. Depending on the amount and type of microorganism that need to be killed, and the shelf life of the product we want to achieve, different processes are used: pasteurization, UHT, HTST or filtration. Please see our explanation of different sterilization systems in Sterilization.

For the production of fresh milk, the chosen process is pasteurization; for the production of ESL milk, UHT or several filtration systems can be used. The most marketable fluid milk nowadays is either UHT or HTST.

Pasteurization is the process of treating the milk at a high temperature, and then chilling it so as to extend its shelf-life and reduce microbial growth, whilst retaining the maximum natural qualities possible. MachinePoint Engineering supplies Pasteurization units and processes.

HTST (High Temperature/Short Time). Milk is put through a continuous process of very high temperatures for a very short time. This process conserves milk qualities better than more aggressive processes such as UHT or aseptic processing, although it leaves it with a shorter shelf life.

UHT (Ultra High Temperature). Although pasteurization deactivates most of the microbial growth, to extend milk shelf-life further, milk needs to be further sterilized. The most commonly used method in the industry nowadays is UHT (ultra-high temperature) which consists of a continuous sterilization process where milk is heated at very high temperatures and then chilled numerous times in a continuous process. The aim is to kill all micro-organisms and prolong milk shelf-life. Most of the milk you can buy today is put through a UHT process. MachinePoint Engineering supplies UHT processes. Aseptic filling most commonly follows.

ESL (Extended Shelf Life) Milk is fresh milk with an extended shelf life. Other microbiological reduction methods are used versus heat methods such as pasteurization, HTST or UHT.

Milk Standardization - Cream separation
The fat content of raw milk varies depending on the type of cow, cow feeding, age, timing, etc. This is why milk follows a standardization process where either raw milk or even sterilized or pasteurized milk is separated into cream and skimmed milk by the cream separation machines. Part of the cream is added back into the skimmed milk in exact proportions in order to precisely define the fat content of the milk and standardize it.
The rest of the cream is processed to produce products such as cream, condensed milk, butter, etc, using technologies such as evaporation, mixing, drying, etc.

Milk can be enriched with vitamins, calcium or other types of ingredients.
These should be mixed and blended in batch or continuous processes in mixing units.

This process is done by machines called homogenizers, whose objective is to prevent the cream from seperating from the rest of the liquid once the milk is stored.

Milk Filling and Packaging technologies
Once the product manufacturing process is finished, the milk passes to the filling and packaging process. Milk can be packed into different types of packages: carton, glass, pouches, PET bottles, etc. Sterilized milk that needs to have a long shelf life should be filled and packed using aseptic technologies. In this case, previous sterilization of the package should also be done. MachinePoint Engineering supplies filling and packing systems and also aseptic filling and packing systems.

Depending on the type of milk produced the technologies and processes vary. MachinePoint Engineering supplies the following equipment and technologies:
  • Milk Reception Systems
  • Storing systems: Tanks, Aseptic Tanks, Valves and Pumps Solutions
  • Mixing Units
  • Cream separator or Milk standardization
  • CIP/SIP units
  • UHT , Pasteurizers, Filtration systems
  • Heat exchangers
  • Homogenizers
  • Aspiration
  • Drying and concentration technologies
  • Evaporators
  • Filtration technologies
  • Filling and Aseptic Filling
  • Packaging and aseptic packaging in glass, carton or plastic Water disinfection or sterilization line


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