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Industry survey: The diversity of rework practices in fluid milk and dairy powder production.

C. Rush



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Industry survey: The diversity of rework practices in fluid milk and dairy powder production.
C. Rush*, J. Waite-Cusic, L. Meunier-Goddik. Oregon State University Corvallis, OR.

Reworking dairy products is common practice in the industry as a way to help minimize waste while reducing cost for processors. However, there are no established guidelines for reworking fluid milk and milk powders and processors have developed their own unique procedures. The objective of this survey was to investigate current industry practices for reworking dairy products. Six national dairy processors (n = 4 fluid milk; n = 2 dairy powder) were surveyed in-person or via phone interview to understand their motivation for rework, common reworked products, storage and processing parameters, and potential defects associated with reworked products. Results of the survey defined rework (e.g., reclaim, rerun, recovery) as the commingling of either a freshly processed or an unpasteurized product with another product that has been previously processed or pasteurized, and then re-pasteurized or re-processed together with a reset of the code date. For fluid milk processors, the motivation for rework may be due to date-challenged product, mislabeled containers, leaky cartons, microbial contamination, and the recovery of milk after flushing the lines from cleaning in place (CIP) or when standardizing the fat content between products. Dilution rates for most products were < 20% with more stringent limits (<10%) on more spoilage prone products (e.g., chocolate milk). Processors reported quality issues of reworked product, including premature spoilage, flavor defects, and high plate counts. Dairy powder processors often rework due to microbial contamination or a deviated specification (e.g., low/high pH, moisture content) at 3—10% depending on rework motivation. Dairy powders may be reconstituted with fresh milk or water and re-dried, while others are reworked after the drying stage. Reworked dairy powders often show increased spore counts and scorch particles, causing some products to be downgraded or barred from exportation. The data collected from this survey will be used to guide further investigations on the quality impacts of reworking fluid milk and milk powders.

Keywords: rework, milk, powder.

Biography: Casey grew up on a small farm in Silverton, Oregon. She attended Oregon State University for her B.S. in Food Science and Technology where she discovered her passion for dairy science through various undergraduate research projects. After graduating in March 2019, Casey began her M.S. in Food Science focusing on quality implications of reworked milk and dairy powders under Dr. Joy Waite-Cusic and Dr. Lisbeth Goddik. In her free time, Casey loves to ride her horse, bake delicious treats, and volunteer as a high school equestrian drill team coach.