Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EU-funded project SUSMILK - »Green Dairy«

Milk, quark and cheese are part of the daily food intake. How energy, water and carbon dioxide emissions can be saved in the production of such foodstuffs is what the just recently started EU Project SUSMILK shows.

Under the leadership of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, 212 project partners are developing components that contribute to the sustainable processing of milk and a redesign of the dairy industry via their use in existing dairy infrastructures. For the next three years, the EU Project SUSMILK will be sponsored by the 7th Research Framework Program (FP7) of the European Commission.

Before milk gets from the cow into the bottle or carton, its processing is characterized by a multitude of heating and cooling processes. Even though the infrastructures necessary for this are most often not aligned with current sustainability standards, they often are utilized in the foodstuffs industry for up to 30 years. In the EU Project SUSMILK, Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the project partners are developing components for use in existing dairy infrastructures, with the objective of savings in energy, water and CO2 emissions.

Technical "greenification" in foodstuffs production

Based on five dairies of different sizes, an overall concept of a green dairy is being developed. This encompasses the development of technical components, their installation and testing at partner dairies, as well as process simulation and eco balance sheets. The goal is not a one-size-fits-all solution for dairies but rather an optimization of individual systems, customized to the situation of a dairy. There are different optimization options:

"To save energy on-site, we utilize solar-thermal energy conversion through which we want to provide the thermal base load energy for the dairy. In addition, we use - for example - solar energy in high temperature solar panels for steam generation, which we couple with biomass boilers. In turn, we use the waste heat streams of the dairy to generate cold (absorption refrigeration). For this, we optimally adapt the systems to the respective dairy. Furthermore, heat pumps that feature both a high and a low temperature side help to optimally distribute the heat in the dairy", project coordinator Dr. Christoph Glasner explains the concept.

Milk concentrate saves water and energy

To save water and energy, Fraunhofer UMSICHT in one part of the project is specializing in the energy-efficient manufacturing of milk concentrate with improved quality. This measure has the potential to reduce both the transport energy and the tank sizes at the dairy. Standardized and dried concentrate is not only of interest for the manufacturing of products such as cheese, yoghurt and baked goods, but also for bridging the gap in case of supply shortages. In some regions of Europe, the supply with milk in part varies seasonally. With concentrated, dried milk, a storable product is at hand that is available the whole year in consistent quality and quantity.

Recycling of waste water and waste

The waste water inescapably generated in production and system cleaning has high organic loads. It is cleaned up via membrane technology and thus put to reuse in closed water circulation systems. Additionally, it is conceivable to generate energy in the form of biogas or bioethanol from waste treatment and to use it within the dairy for heat and electricity. Also, there is the option to recycle the universal material lactic acid from water streams.


For the next three years, SUSMILK will be sponsored by the 7th Research Framework Program (FP7) of the European Commission.

Iris Kumpmann | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Sea turtles face plastic pollution peril
09.10.2015 | University of Exeter

nachricht NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event
08.10.2015 | NOAA Headquarters

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Secure data transfer thanks to a single photon

Physicists of TU Berlin and mathematicians of MATHEON are so successful that even the prestigious journal “Nature Communications” reported on their project.

Security in data transfer is an important issue, and not only since the NSA scandal. Sometimes, however, the need for speed conflicts to a certain degree with...

Im Focus: A Light Touch May Help Animals and Robots Move on Sand and Snow

Having a light touch can make a hefty difference in how well animals and robots move across challenging granular surfaces such as snow, sand and leaf litter. Research reported October 9 in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics shows how the design of appendages – whether legs or wheels – affects the ability of both robots and animals to cross weak and flowing surfaces.

Using an air fluidized bed trackway filled with poppy seeds or glass spheres, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology systematically varied the...

Im Focus: Reliable in-line inspections of high-strength automotive body parts within seconds

Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process. Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive B-pillars. NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of seconds.

To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from...

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing healthcare and sustainably strengthening healthcare systems

01.10.2015 | Event News

Conference in Brussels: Tracking and Tracing the Smallest Marine Life Forms

30.09.2015 | Event News

World Alzheimer`s Day – Professor Willnow: Clearer Insights into the Development of the Disease

17.09.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Smart clothing, mini-eyes, and a virtual twin – Artificial Intelligence at ICT 2015

13.10.2015 | Trade Fair News

Listening to the Extragalactic Radio

13.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

Penn study stops vision loss in late-stage canine X-linked retinitis pigmentosa

13.10.2015 | Health and Medicine

More VideoLinks >>>