Flake Ice for Food Processing Industry: Dairy

The process by which milk and other dairy products move from dairy cows to store shelves is much more complex than most consumers imagine when they choose their favorite ice cream or purchase other milk products. 

Technology, which automates the process, is crucial to the dairy industry. Furthermore, while dairy products have always been subject to temperature testing, the Food Safety Modernization Act provisions of 2011 made requirements even more stringent. 

How Milk Moves Through Processing 

Across more than 50,000 dairy farms in the United States, milk typically moves from the dairy cows to cooling storage tanks located on the farm. This is where the dairy cold chain begins. Milk is kept in the storage tanks at temperatures below 40 degrees for no more than 48 hours. Within those two days, refrigerated tanker trucks pick up the milk, transporting it to a dairy processor, where it is homogenized, pasteurized, packaged, and shipped to retailers. 

Chillers remove heat from pasteurization, cooling milk to appropriate temperatures, thus preventing the milk molecules from deterioration. Ensuring correct temperatures at this phase in the dairy process preserves the milk and extends storage life. At this point, milk becomes a number of different items, all of which require some level of cold storage, increasing the complexity of the cold supply chain. Cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and ice cream are just a few of the dairy products which are produced from milk. 

How is Flake Ice Used in the Dairy Industry? 

In the dairy industry, flake ice is primarily used in the icing of the delivery trucks when refrigerated truck use is not practical. “Practicality” could lie in the fact that climate conditions dictate refrigerated trucks are not necessary year-round or from a mechanical maintenance point of view. Perhaps the greatest use in dairies is in the processing of cheese. During the process, heat is removed from Cheese balls by submersing them in Ice-water bath for quick efficient cooling. 

Howe Ice Flakers Used by Dairies Across the Globe 

It is essential that the different dairy products be kept at their optimum temperatures. Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and ice cream products all have specific temperatures that regulate quality and storage time. Howe Rapid Freeze Ice Flakers are used by dairies worldwide for food cooling applications, including cheese cooling and transportation. Howe produces the most energy-efficient ice flakers available, with sub-cooled ice for prolonged freshness and more surface contact area when compared to other ice forms. 

Howe offers a wide range of ice flaker models and features to fully meet all needs. As the “original” ice flaker, Howe has built its reputation on being an industry leader in food cooling applications. Our ice flakers outlast the competition by 2-3 times in the product life cycle. We offer models in a wide array of sizes, voltages, and refrigerants to fully meet your precise requirements. 

For any questions regarding using flake ice to preserve your dairy products, ice flake machines, or any of our other ice products, please contact us

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