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The food and dairy industry has embraced ceramic membranes for their unique properties. There are a number of installations around the world using these products for their sanitization properties and durability.

The majority of ceramic membrane applications in the dairy industry are for Extended Shelf Life (ESL) milk where polymeric membranes simply will not work. In addition, there are systems operating that are used to defat whey, curd cheese and other dairy products. Another application that has been using ceramic membranes is the fractionation of whey proteins in the cheese making process.

ENDURA, brand of Prism Johnson Ltd. has developed Microfiltration & Ultrafiltration Ceramic Membranes for dairy industry.

*Microfiltration (MF)

The microfiltration of milk concerns two main industrial applications

Bacteria removal from skimmed milk.

Selective concentration of casein micelles for cheese making.

Pore Size Molecular Weight Cut-Off Pressure Principle Retentate Characteristics
0.2 – 2.0 μm > 200 kDa Low, below 2.0 bar Low pressure driven membrane process Low retentate separation of protein, bacteria & other particulates

MF Application & Benefits:

Extended shelf life (ESL) cheese

Consistent good microbial quality

Extended shelf life (ESL) pasteurized milk

Pre-treatment of UHT milk

Spore removal for cheese milk

Protein fractionation

Whey protein recovery

Brine purification

Spore removal for whey

Spore reduction for milk for powders (ESP Infant Formula products)

*Ultrafiltration (UF)

For more than 30 years UF has been used on milk processing plants.

Standardization & Concentration of milk proteins.

Concentration of whey proteins.

Pore Size Molecular Weight Cut-Off Pressure Principle Retentate Characteristics
1.0 – 500 μm 1 - 200 kDa Medium, 1.0 - 10 bar Medium pressure driven membrane process to overcome the viscosity Large retentate with casein micelles, fat globules, colloidal minerals, bacteria & somatic cells

UF Applications & Benefits:

Ceramic and Spiral wound membranes for milk

Liquid skimmed milk filtration for protein standardization

UF Feta cheese filtration to preconcentrate the milk solids

Cast Feta cheese

Cheese milk protein standardization


Cream cheese

Milk protein standardization

Whey protein recovery

Lactose manufacturing


UF Processing, Filters, Technology

Ultra filtered milk

Extended shelf life, long life

Introduction of membrane technology into dairy science witnesses phenomena of mutual benefit for membranes as well as for dairy industry. Below is the summary table of various size & types of membrane applications.

UF Applications and Benefits

The marked improvement in the nutritive quality and sensory attributes of the existing dairy products with higher yields in addition to development of several innovative dairy products became possible by the application of membrane technology. Continuing the efforts for the development of superior membranes will further expand the role of membranes in dairy processing.

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