Dr Matthew Jones pictured operating Milk-Guard

New Agritech device could save millions

by Mike Isle

A new device developed by Lincoln Agritech Ltd could save the dairy industry millions of dollars a year and help prevent pollutants from entering waterways.

The device, known as Milk-Guard, measures the percentage of dairy products in dairy plant waste streams and processing lines, which are automatically sent to the plant’s process control room, where operators can monitor them and make changes if necessary.

Chief executive of the company marketing Milk-Guard, Dr Matthew Jones of CertusBio, said that due to the vast quantity of dairy products processed in New Zealand large amounts of valuable products could be lost quickly.

“Given the significant economic return to New Zealand from the dairy industry, it is vital to extract as much value from processing as possible by using reliable, fully-automated systems to accurately and rapidly monitor losses in dairy processing and, ultimately, increase company profitability.”

Dr Jones said that two to three per cent of all dairy products is lost during processing and whilst this was inevitable to a certain extent, a significant proportion of losses could be avoided.

“This also contributes to the level of pollutants caused by the dairy processing industry, as dairy plant wastewater has a number of characteristics that require careful management.

Milk-Guard can be used to account for all material entering and leaving a processing plant, liquid transfers within a plant, and segregating raw materials containing high-value products.

“Trials have demonstrated Milk-Guard’s ability to frequently detect product losses during processing, which could be worth in excess of $30,000 for a single event.

“The estimated total loss for an average dairy process line is $6.5 million a year,’.