India is the highest milk producing country in the world. In the agricultural economy of India, milk is the second-largest commodity contributing to the gross national product, next only to rice. In 2014-15, India’s annual output of milk stood at 146.3 million tonnes. By 2022, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) projects that the demand for milk will reach 180 million tonnes. To keep supply consistent with this projected demand, India’s dairy production needs to achieve an annual incremental increase in of 5 million tonnes.

In recent years, the growing population, higher incomes and heightened health awareness among domestic consumers have only created a higher demand for high-quality milk and milk products in India. The effect of this change is evident with retail shelves in the country now making space for value-added products such as UHT milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

These factors collectively turn the spotlight back on the importance of village-level dairy development to achieve sustained volume growth.

Value-added Products Provide New Avenues of Growth to Dairy Processors and Homestead Dairy Farmers

Experts agree that the need of the hour to meet India’s evolving dairy needs is long-shelf-life products such as ultra-high-temperature processed (UHT) milk. However, the quality of most value-added products is directly related to the quality raw milk, which is determined by its MBRT level.

A high MBRT level of milk guarantees its good quality. The Methylene Blue Dye Reduction Test is a quick method to assess the microbiological quality of raw and pasteurized milk. This test has been used as the acceptance or rejection criteria for raw and processed milk.

In India, where milk primarily comes from millions of individual dairy farmers who sell milk to the nearest dairy collection center before it is transported to the dairy processor’s facility, it is a challenge to maintain the quality of milk in the face of difficulties such as hot climate, unreliable electricity supply, and other factors such as inefficient milk chillers.

The Bureau of Indian Standards’ (BIS) 1479 (Part 3): 1977 criterion grades raw milk based on MBRT thus:

5 hours and above Very good
3 to 4 hours Good
1 to 2 hours Fair
Less than ½ hour Poor

How a Top Private Dairy Player in India Used Promethean’s Rapid Milk Chillers to Strike a Balance Between Cost and Quality in
UHT Milk

Heritage Foods Ltd is one of the fastest-growing public listed companies in India. Heritage Dairy has a chilling capacity of 1.68 million liters per day, a processing capacity of 1.53 million liters per day, and packaging capacity of 1.06 million liters per day. In keeping with shifting dairy consumption trends in India, Heritage plans to bring more value-added products to Indian consumers.

The average shelf life of fresh pouched milk that Heritage sells is about 2-3 days. Since this time span creates an impediment in distributing the product in deep rural markets, Heritage wanted to launch UHT milk with a retail shelf life of at least 7 days. However, selling the UHT milk at a premium would turn consumers away. So would a drop in the quality of milk. This called for the deployment of a solution that would keep costs in check while retaining the desired quality of milk.

This is where Promethean Power Systems’ Rapid Milk Chiller was able to provide an efficient and scalable solution to Heritage Foods. After the installation of Promethean’s Rapid Milk Chiller Premium in their village collection centers, the MBRT level of milk collected by Heritage Foods has increased to 4.5 hours.

How Promethean’s Rapid Milk Chillers Ensure High-quality Milk

Promethean Power Systems Rapid Milk Chiller helps chill milk even in the most remote places where electricity trickles in intermittently. Promethean’s Rapid Milk Chiller is based on thermal energy storage technology which has dual benefits. This milk chilling system instantly cools milk from 35 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius without the need for a diesel generator as a power backup source.

Since it eliminates the use of a diesel generator, it provides cost efficiency as well as an eco-friendly alternative to dairy processors. The Rapid Milk Chiller and Rapid Milk Chiller Premium have shown proven results in increasing the MBRT level of milk.

The Rapid Milk Chiller Premium solution from Promethean chills milk through a two-stage process:

In stage 1, the Rapid Milk Chiller lowers the temperature of milk from 35 degrees Celsius to a mere 8 degrees Celsius within seconds, eliminating most of the bacteria. This is the most important step in assuring the quality of milk needed for a higher shelf life. In stage 2, the chilled milk is then poured into an active cooling tank which reduces the temperature of the milk gradually to 4 degrees Celsius.

This solution ultimately helps ensure that by the time milk reaches dairy processors, it continues to remain within the mandated quality parameters.

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