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Dairy Processing: Regulatory Requirements

Food and Beverages | Tuesday, January 25, 2022

In a competitive and diverse industry, dairy processing requires a creative and adaptable facility planning and operation approach.

FREMONT, CA: Dairy has historically been a dominant consumer segment. There is a reason why grocery shops place eggs and milk in the farthest area of the store: customers will always make the trek to obtain these essentials. During the pandemic, the dairy business faced enormous transformations, all to its advantage. During the 52 weeks ending September 6, 2020, milk dollar sales increased by 7.8 percent. During the same time period, dollar sales of ice cream increased by 13.4 percent as people turned to their freezers for comfort food. Due to improved health recommendations, butter is undergoing a revival, and gourmet finishing butter is gaining popularity (e.g., black truffle or garlic parmesan).

The long-term effects of this change in purchasing patterns are not yet clear. Still, in the meantime, the dairy sector is observing a separate consumer trend in dairy milk products with extra nutritional or performance benefits (e.g., probiotics or added protein). Chocolate milk is gaining popularity as a post-workout recovery beverage. Additionally, specialty flavors and novel shelf-stable goods motivate consumers to stock on dairy products.

The dairy sector is continuously advancing behind the scenes. Enhanced processing techniques are producing products of a higher grade. New processing methods can aid in reducing waste and boosting milk production and efficiency. For instance, the introduction of enhanced mix-proof valves facilitates higher automation, flexibility, and productivity. Innovative and cutting-edge filtration techniques enable businesses to raise their protein content and improve solids management.

The dairy industry is experiencing an era of expansion and innovation. Dairy processors require a flexible and inventive approach to facility planning and operation to capitalize on these changes in an increasingly competitive and diverse market.

State and Federal Inspections and Regulations

Milk production, handling, processing, packaging, storage, and distribution are governed by regulations. The dairy business has historically been one of the most heavily regulated food industries. Why? Unchecked, milk and milk products are susceptible to the growth of germs, including diseases such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria. The purpose of state and federal dairy laws is to safeguard product quality and consumer health. The consequences of a dairy plant's failure to meet its local or national legal duties can be costly and detrimental to its reputation.

Pasteurized Milk Ordinance

The FDA created a set of minimal regulations and standards for regulating the production, processing, and packaging of dairy products of Grade A. These specifications are referred to as the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO). In PMO, the dairy sector, government agencies, and academic representatives interact to draft and amend laws every two years.

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