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Production Process Insights

Where Did the Milk Go? Find Out with Representative Sampling.

Posted by Israel Gamboa on 10/4/21 8:00 AM
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Improve Efficiencies with Milk Sampling

The dairy process is closely monitored, from receiving raw milk to packing the end product. Sampling starts with a representative sample from the tanker. This sample analysis results in milk constituent data, including fats and solids. Milk sampling allows the processor to know what they're getting from the milk producer, such as butterfat content, so they pay the producer for precisely what they're getting.

Manual sampling leads to improper payments

In the dairy industry, samples are usually acquired by using a ladle to scoop milk from the top of the tanker. However, these tankers often wait to be unloaded for up to 24 hours. During this time, the heavier solids in the milk settle at the tanker's bottom. These solids remain there until someone agitates the batch with a ladle during sampling. This creates sampling inconsistency, and the grab sample is not a representation of the tank itself. Therefore, the butterfat content may measure high or low. This incorrect number is then used during their mass balance input.

As such, the processor can overestimate the percentage of butterfat content in their milk, forcing the processor to pay too much for the product based on a falsely high measurement. This also introduces the risk of waste to the process.

In this example, the processor must add more ingredients, such as milk powder or skim milk, because there's a lack of a necessary constituent to produce the final dairy product properly. As more of these products are added, the final product's cost rises for the dairy processor.

What's more, these waste trends are monitored daily, and inventory adjustments are tracked based on process inefficiencies. At the end of the day, when milk processors run cycle counts, they might ask, "where did the milk go?"

To answer this question, while simultaneously improving process efficiencies and profits, processors need to implement accurate representative sampling.

Maximize Efficiencies with Representative sampling

Custody transfers, end-use processes, and waste by-product management in the dairy industry require precise data to ensure quality, safety, and compliance. Representative sampling delivers this accurate data to help dairy processors reduce waste, minimize costs, and efficiently manage their processes. Identifying a representative sample upon custody transfers ensures that both the producer and processor provide and receive the best quality product at a reasonable market price.

Representative milk sampling allows a composite sample to be easily and safely obtained without direct involvement from an operator. This ensures the sample's integrity and increases efficiency over manual sampling since the production line can continue without downtime.

Rather than a hand scoop, an automatic sampler reduces bias and provides a highly representative sample for analysis. Because automated samplers provide a statistically representative sample, analysis data obtained from these samples offer a higher level of confidence from which important decisions about the process can be made.

Sampling helps processors:

  • Identify pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. coli, that cause illness
  • Find contaminants, such as antibiotics, that are undesirable in final products
  • Measure chemical and physical properties, such as fats, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals that impact milk value
  • Give visibility into products processed from milk
  • Maintain compliance with FDA and USDA regulations

Sentry Equipment's samplers and expertise provide dairy farms, logistics, and dairy product companies with composite, representative samples that maximize their investment and minimize contamination concerns. Our customized sampling solutions empower customers around the globe to accurately monitor and measure processes for improved production efficiency, output, and safety.


Automatic Sampling: Why It's Essential for Food & Beverages

Topics: Food & Beverage, Liquid & Slurry

Written by Israel Gamboa

Picture of Israel Gamboa
As a Regional Sales Manager, Israel Gamboa applies his expertise in oil refinery, food & beverage, petrochemical & chemical, and power generation markets for customers in California and Canada. In his 15 years of Sentry experience, he’s served in Electromechanical Assembly, Field Service, Applications Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Outside Sales. Two highlights have been working with the oil sands industry for automatic sampling and various oil refineries in North America for manual sampling. Gamboa believes in making his customer’s jobs easy by listening to their wants and needs and providing a sampling solution that exceeds their expectations.