Lactose production - Use of separator and decanter in dairies

Another important by-product from cow‘s milk is lactose. Lactose is produced in the cow‘s udder. Chemically speaking, lactose belongs to the disaccharide family and is composed of galactose and glucose molecules. Lactose is much in demand by industry. For example, it is used as a filler in foods or as a fat binder in baking. In the pharmaceutical sector, lactose functions as a filler, binder and adsorber as well as a coating for pills and tablets. Separators guarantee efficient recovery of lactose in concentration, crystallization and washing allow lactose to be obtained particularly economically and reliably in the process lines.

In the first step the whey from the cheese factory has to be cleaned.

In the second step the whey has to be skimmed.

The traditional starting product for lactose production is sweet or sour whey, usually in the form of a permeate. The permeate has the advantage that the whey proteins have already been removed, which simplifies process management for improved yields. The purity of the starting materials in the process can be increased by nanofiltration and decalcium phosphatization before the evaporation stage. The yield depends primarily on the raw material used, on crystallization and on the process technology. However, the yield can still be significantly increased by integrating nanofiltration, decalcium phosphatization together with electrodialysis and ion exchange in the conventional process. The raw material is normally evaporated to a dry substance. The concentrate is subsequently crystallized in special crystallization tanks. The crystallized whey concentrate is now passed to a first decanter which separates the lactose crystals. After the separated lactose has been diluted with washing water to reduce the dry substance, a second decanter increases the dry substance. The wash water is separated. The concentrate is subsequently crushed when dry, screened and packed in sacks.

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