New milk technology extends shelf life

By Dairy News

An Australian company has developed a technology for processing milk which it says will allow fresh milk to be refrigerated for up to 60 days.

The development could be a major game-changer for exporters which would be able to ship fresh milk overseas.

The Naturo company, based in Coolum, Queensland, claims to have developed a process which is the most significant since pasteurisation was developed in the 19th century.

Pasteurisation is a heat treatment which extends the life of fresh milk.

The company also says the new process destroys a bacteria which can cause illness in humans.

Naturo is seeking investment in a new plant that will be capable of producing 10 million litres of milk annually.

Naturo chief executive Jeff Hastings, the inventor of the technology, says the milk tastes better and lasts longer.

“The primary difference between our milk and pasteurised milk is the fact that we don’t ‘cook’ the milk to make it safe for human consumption.”

Mr Hastings, an agricultural engineer, has developed processes for other food products including apples and avocadoes.

Naturo has received $250 000 funding from the Queensland Government to develop the technology.

Mr Hastings said the process had been independently tested and validated by an unnamed Australian scientific organisation.

“The technology is a game-changer for the global export market as the product’s extended shelf life allows it to be shipped, rather than flown, to markets all over the world including Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.”

While the process has been applied to only cow’s milk, it has the potential to expand to other milk including camel, goat and sheep milk.

Mr Hastings said traditional pasteurisation destroyed the alkaline Photosphatase activity, an essential enzyme for liver function and bone development.

“Our patented process is the only known method that kills Bacillus Cereus, a common but unwanted spore forming bacterium in milk that produces toxins causing vomiting or diarrhoea.”

Asked about the new process, Dairy Australia said it supported innovation in dairy production and processing.

“However, any new technologies require rigorous testing and licencing by the relevant food safety authorities, before manufacturing can be undertaken,” the spokesperson said.

Dairy Food Safety Victoria has reviewed data collected by Naturo and in a media statement said it “accepts the technology developed using the process described in the validation report may be used as an alternative treatment to pasteurisation for raw milk”.

The DFSV statement clarified the government agency had not approved this process to be undertaken in any commercial manufacturing facility in Victoria.