Fri, December 03, 2021

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Thai scientists find new way to keep milk fresh, lowering costs

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Chula researchers have tapped ultraviolet light to solve a problem that has long plagued Thailand’s dairy farmers – high transportation costs.

In a tropical country like Thailand, microorganisms grow quickly and milk spoils easily, so, farmers must work against the clock and shoulder refrigeration costs in transport as well.

“Cow’s milk spoils so easily. It has to be refrigerated right after being milked, and on the way to raw milk collection centres, otherwise it goes to waste along the way, and the raw milk centres will not buy it because it is too risky. The only common solution now is refrigeration. Chillers and refrigerators are very pricey, and they add costs for dairy farmers. As a result, consumers have to pay a higher milk price. This is the major question in our research,” explained David Makarapong, a researcher in the Technopreneurship and Innovation Management Programme (CUTIP), Chulalongkorn University Graduate School, about the origins of the inventive project PASS+.

Thai scientists find new way to keep milk fresh, lowering costs

“This innovation helps slow down the growth of microorganisms in cow’s milk by ultraviolet irradiation. We found that PASS+ reduced the number of microorganisms by up to 90 per cent, keeping milk from going bad even when not refrigerated while retaining the full benefits of milk.”

David added that once the cow’s milk is processed with the PASS+ machine, farmers have an additional 30 minutes to 2 hours for delivery, which is enough to preserve the milk quality during transport.

“Once we can prolong milk freshness without refrigeration, we drastically reduce the transportation costs. Farmers no longer have to buy chillers, and consumers will also receive fresh, great quality cow’s milk at a lower price.”

Thai scientists find new way to keep milk fresh, lowering costs

PASS+ has already been patented as an innovation of Thailand. Many small dairy farmers affiliated with the Dairy Farming Promotion Organisation of Thailand who tried PASS+ are satisfied with it.

“PASS+ innovation will significantly transform the dairy farming industry, by not only yielding small farmers higher profit but also providing an alternative to the development of milk quality from farms, while reducing milk price for consumers,” said David.

Published : March 09, 2021

By : The Nation