The future of milk? New technology increases milk’s shelf life, cuts carbon footprint

By Hal Conick

- Last updated on GMT

Dairyvative and Cornelius' new technology has a goal of reducing milk's carbon footprint by 30%.
Dairyvative and Cornelius' new technology has a goal of reducing milk's carbon footprint by 30%.

Related tags Milk Carbon dioxide Water

Two companies have come together to create a product they say will cut milk to 14% of its original weight - making it far easier to ship across the world.

Dairyvative Technologies and Cornelius’ new technology, known as SEVENx, will concentrate and reconstitute milk to a lactose-free end product one-seventh of its original weight.

Milk processed using the technology remains stay shelf-stable, without refrigeration, for up to a year while keeping the protein in the milk intact, the companies claim. 

The first to market

Dr Charles Sizer, founder and CEO of Dairyvative Technologies, a developer of dairy process technologies, told DairyReporter he believes this is the first technology of its kind.

The process is very environmentally friendly, he said, with a goal to help reduce the carbon footprint of milk by about 30%, reducing it down to one kilogram (kg) of carbon dioxide per liter of milk.

“There are a lot of advantages to it,”​ Sizer said. “One is that you’re not shipping a lot of water across the country … It’s also possible to ship the milk internationally without refrigeration.”

Sizer said they are able to produce this milk as lactose-free by having a lactate enzyme that converts the lactose into two simple sugars, thus taking the much of the water out of the final product.

“We split the water lactose water molecule into two [parts], which reduces water activity by about 50%,”​ Sizer said. “What we do is we concentrate it and we control the water activity. We reduce the amount of water where bacteria is able to grow to the point where [bacteria isn’t] able to grow.”

New flavors

In addition to the hope for reduction footprint, the companies also hope SEVENx will help spawn a larger trend of flavored and carbonated milk.

Cornelius, a supplier of beverage dispensing systems, will work as the provider of equipment to dispense this concentrated milk; the end user will then be allowed to add several flavors to the milk, or carbonate it if they so choose.

“The combination of Dairyvative’s concentrated milk technology with Cornelius’ beverage dispensing technology creates drinks with new exciting flavor combinations for kids of all ages,”​ said Jeff Garascia, vice president of growth and innovation for Cornelius.

When asked if he believed carbonated or flavored milk will be the next big thing, Sizer said “we hope so,”​ adding that they see it as something that will extend the reach of milk.

“You can put it in settings where you normally wouldn’t have it, such as quick service restaurants and [places] like that ,”​ he said. “In all the trials we’ve done, it’s been very popular.”

“We think this is the future of milk.”

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