The award recognizes the implementation of Caloris' low-spore powder production process at the LSDP plant in Canyon, Texas.
The patent-pending process has allowed LSDP to consistently and routinely produce low-spore milk powders while maintaining continuous and uninterrupted operation of the spray dryer systems. LSDP is a joint venture between Hoogwegt and Lone Star Milk Producers.
Caloris president and CEO Jim Peterson said he was thrilled to share the recognition with LSDP and pleased the low-spore powder process has contributed to the success at the Canyon plant.
Caloris said many dairy processors face the challenge of achieving consistent daily production of milk powders with low bacterial spore counts. The presence of a low level of spores in milk powders is difficult to avoid because of the presence of spores in the incoming raw milk supply, with those counts increased by a factor of 10 simply by concentrating the single-strength milk to powder.
A critical challenge is avoiding the exponential growth in bacterial and spore counts to unacceptable levels that develops over the course of a daily milk powder production cycle due to growth of biofilms.
In particular, evaporators provide ideal growth conditions for biofilms formed by vegetative bacteria, and after a maturing period of about 10 hours, those biofilms begin to contaminate the milk they come into contact with for the remainder of the evaporator production run.
The Caloris process includes timed evaporator-system clean-in-place (CIP) cycles, which eliminate operation with the presence of mature biofilms in the evaporator system before they begin to contaminate the milk product with spores. The configuration of the process allows for these CIP cycles to occur without interrupting the powder production of the spray dryer system.
"The concept struck us as simple, robust and repeatable," Cody Gruwell, general manager of the LSDP Canyon plant said in the award entry.
"We could clearly eliminate the risk of operating with the presence of mature biofilms that, in a traditional evaporator system, serve as a source for contamination of the milk product with spores."
LSDP is one of two dairy processors in the US that has implemented the Caloris system.