This article is about setting up a small scale milk pasteurization unit to process raw milk and market it under a brand name. Pasteurization is the process of heating the milk up to 70 – 80º C for a certain period of time and then cooling it to 4ºC. The heat treatment must guarantee the destruction of unwanted pathogenic micro organisms and should not affect the taste & nutritional value of the milk. The commercial significance of pasteurizing milk is to increase the shelf life of milk up to 72 hours at cooling temperature.
In Pakistan only 3-4% of the total milk is processed and marketed through formal channels whereas the remaining 97% of the milk reaches end users for immediate consumption through an extensive, multi-layered distribution system of middlemen. However the processed milk consumption is growing at the rate of 20% per year. Pasteurized and UHT milk in tetra packs are very popular products. The demand is increasing with the increasing awareness among the consumers. Also the mass sale of unhygienic, adulterated milk by Milkmen is letting the urban low-income segment to shift from home delivered adulterated milk to self purchased pasteurized milk from branded milk shops.
For pasteurized milk, a standard formula of 3.5% fat contents and 9% SNF (solids not fat) have to be maintained according to law. The fresh milk has 4 to 6% fats. The extra fat contents are removed through cream separator during milk processing. The extra cream can be sold to sweet makers. After cream separation, some milk powder is mixed and homogenized to make standardized milk of 3.5% fat and 9% SNF. The pasteurized milk will be filled in 1-litre plastic pillow-type pouches and sold at a number of departmental stores in the city.
Operational Capacity of Milk Pasteurization Unit
The milk pasteurization unit proposed has a maximum capacity to process 2,000 liters per hour. However, the unit will operate at 70% capacity processing 1,400 liters per hour in the first year and 8 hours is the milk processing time per day. The maximum operative capacity of 100% is achieved in the fourth year and 2,000 liters are processed per hour till the tenth year.
Milk Pasteurization Process in Pakistan
After the fresh milk is received it is filtered and pumped into the dump tank. It is then chilled with help of a chiller so that the growth of bacteria is minimized. On average, fresh milk contain 4.5% fats which will be reduced to 3.5% with the help of a cream separator. The milk will then undergo the pasteurization process. This is based on heating the milk to 75ºC and holding at that temperature for at least 15-20 seconds.
This heat treatment ensures the destruction of unwanted micro-organisms and all bacteria. During this process the temperature is reduced to 4ºC as at this temperature ideal growth of bacteria is stopped. After milk processing, the pasteurized milk is filled in the cooling tanks for delivery to urban milk distribution centers. Milk is also filled and sealed in plastic pouches of 1 liter and then are ready for distribution in market. After the pasteurization process is completed, the tanks will be cleansed through steam for sterilization.
Factors For Success of Milk Pasteurization Business in Pakistan
- The commercial viability of this project depends upon the availability of regular milk supply.
- Another important aspect is the quality check at different stages of production. This is very important after the distribution of milk where there is a need to check that the distributors do not supply adulterated milk.
- Smart milk distribution networks also play an important role in the success of this business.
- To establish a brand name, aggressive marketing efforts are recommended.
- Price of milk is volatile, so due care and diligence should be taken while procuring fresh milk. An experienced procurement officer having good knowledge and understanding of milk quality and price fluctuation should be permanently hired for the facility.
- Quality raw material and adaptive research & development is necessary for the project.
- Storage management and quality improvement is needed.
- Policy intervention and government support is required.
- Skill enhancement of the contract farmers, process relevant staff and management should be ensured.
- Capacity building of the dairy farmers, company staff and the management are lacking, infusion of technical services & appropriate know-how are always a catalyst for the better performance.
With this increase in interest for healthy eating, people are avoiding to get milk from the milkmen due to contamination of germs and public awareness through ads. The target market is middle and upper middle income group, specifically health conscious individuals particular about purchasing milk processed in a hygienic environment.
Space Requirements for a Milk Pasteurizing Plant in Pakistan
Approximately 2 kanal of land would be required for establishment of proposed unit, it is recommended that required land should be procured in the industrial estates of identified city / area. The cost of land is estimated at the rate of Rs. 1.5 million per kanal. The infrastructural requirements of the project mainly comprise the construction of management building, laboratory, processing hall, store and other facilities.