Current treatment routes are not suitable to reduce and stabilise bacterial content in some dairy process streams such as separator and bactofuge desludges which currently present a major emission problem faced by dairy producers. In this study, a novel method for the processing of desludge was developed. The new method, elevated pressure sonication (EPS), uses a combination of low frequency ultrasound (20 kHz) and elevated CO2 pressure (50 to 100 bar). Process conditions (pressure, sonicator power, processing time) were optimised for batch and continuous EPS processes to reduce viable numbers of aerobic and lactic acid bacteria in bactofuge desludge by ≥3-log fold. Coagulation of proteins present in the desludge also occurred, causing separation of solid (curd) and liquid (whey) fractions. The proposed process offers a 10-fold reduction in energy compared to high temperature short time (HTST) treatment of milk.
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- Milk byproduct processing