Processing FAQs

    What is the Processing Group at CDR?

    The Processing Group at CDR is relatively new, and was formed by CDR Director John Lucey in 2012. The function of this group is to serve as a resource both internally for CDR staff and Food Science graduate students as well as externally for industry support in the broad area of dairy product processing operations, equipment selection and functioning, and guidance in new and novel product production procedures.

    Who at CDR are in the Processing Group and what are their areas of expertise?

    The chair of this group is Dean Sommer, Cheese and Food Technologist, who brings industry expertise in the areas of cheese manufacturing, general whey processing, and cheese shredding and packaging. CDR Director Prof. John Lucey brings international experience including specific expertise in areas including dairy protein separation technologies and functionality, process cheese manufacture, and cream cheese manufacture. Mike Molitor, the Dairy Ingredients Pilot Plant Manager, brings industry expertise in milk and whey separation technologies, membrane operation, evaporation, drying, pasteurization, manufacture of Greek yogurt, soft cheeses and soft dairy products, and general dairy process engineering. Dr. Karen Smith, Dairy Processing Technologist, brings industry experience in the areas of milk and whey separation and processing operations, including membrane fractionation, evaporation and drying, and has developed numerous technical sheets on milk and whey separation processes and mass balances. Rebecca Kalscheuer, Associate Research Specialist, assists in the pilot plant operations and is principally involved in yogurt and dairy protein application projects.

    What processing abilities does the CDR Pilot Plant have?

    Processing abilities include a wide variety of membrane separations technologies including Reverse Osmosis, Nano Filtration, Ultra Filtration and Micro Filtration. Additionally, we have a pilot scale evaporator and spray dryer. Other processing functions include a pilot scale pasteurization unit, homogenizers, power blenders, and various other support equipment all designed with versatility and flexibility in mind. How does the Processing Group support industry activities? The pilot plant and staff are available to the industry to perform industry research trials on dairy processing activities related to membrane separation, evaporation, drying, and new and novel dairy product manufacturing processing such as concentrated yogurts. The staff are also available to the industry for troubleshooting activities, including answering industry questions by phone or e-mail, or for on-site visits to troubleshoot or generally support industry processing activities. The staff are available for on-site scale up support following proof of concept pilot plant trials.

    What are some of the current areas of interest for the Dairy Processing Group?

    Our staff are keenly aware of many current industry opportunities and challenges and typically work closely with industry to turn these opportunities into industry reality. Currently we have ongoing research in the area of fractionation of various types of acid whey to turn a troublesome byproduct into some potentially valuable products. We continue to work on new and novel dairy protein separation technologies including the isolation and manufacture of native whey proteins (milk derived whey proteins). Furthermore, we continue work on novel concentrated yogurt and soft dairy product manufacturing techniques.