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Centrifuge Milk

By | March 2013
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Oh right, we have been discussing different application of centrifuge ah.. machines that spin uhm.. using centrifugal force to separate uhm.. substances of different densities. Well today, I want to go over the way centrifuges are used in the dairy industry. In the dairy industry, you have the situation where there are lots of uh.. consumers creating a huge demand for dairy products you know, like milk. Any time you are dealing with consumers, product consistency is really key. But when the scale of your industry operation is very large, maintaining this consistency can be uhm.. a little tricky. Say your product is milk, one variable you have to carefully control is the fat content in your products. You know, whole milk, 2% milk or skimmed milk. They all have specific uhm.. quantity of fat. You want to make sure there is as little variation as possible uh.. between batches of the same kind of milk produced at different plants. And the way you do this is by using a centrifuge for a process called separation, where the cream the uh.. fat is extracted from natural milk leaving behind skimm milk. Later, precise amount of milk fat can be added back into the skimmed milk. This standardizes the fat content in each of your milk products. 2%, half and half, that kind of thing. OK, so, before the centrifuge came into use, dairy farmer separated milk by allowing gravity to perform the process naturally. When it's allowed to set, milk eventually forms 2 layers uhm.. with the fat rising to the surface. Dairy farmers condense skims off that fat and preserve the milk beneath. Of course the main problem with this process was that it was well... inefficient. I bet you can imagine because of all that waiting time while gravity separated the skim milk from the uh.. from the cream. When the first cream separator was invented in 1877, it operated as a centrifuge, spinning the milk at the speed of 4000 revolutions per minute. The cream, which is uh.. lighter than the skim milk,...
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