The Milk Processing Lab is an invaluable resource to bring the bench-top research carried out at the FST Department to the translational stages in which all the important milk components can be safely isolated and tested for bioactive activity. This room was designed to be highly flexible (all the equipment is on wheels) to allow exploration of wide range of concepts, processes, packaging and products. All the instruments require minimum consumption of energy and water and can reach steady-state quickly & produce little waste.
Research in the MPL aims at increasing our understanding of the chemical and biological properties of milk components; specifically, this involves separation, characterization and then incorporation of bioactive milk components into foods. Furthermore, in addition to isolating bioactives, the MPL will provide the infrastructure and support for encapsulation, packaging, stability testing, preparation of samples for clinical & sensory studies and finally it will allow for the formulation of novel dairy ingredients.
The lab is currently equipped with a raw-milk cooling tank, cream separator, milk pasteurizer, milk homogenizer, ultraclean milk filler, a complete dairy analyzer (LactoScope) and a membrane separation system.
This dairy-grade equipment will generate new milk fractions made of complex carbohydrates, glycoproteins and lipids from milk and dairy streams to support the utilization of these molecules as novel bioactive ingredients.
The MPL will also be used for Teaching the principles of Membrane separation, Homogenization, Pasteurization, Sterilization, and Aseptic processing and packaging.
All the Microthermics equipment at the MPL is certified as Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). An NRTL is an organization that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has recognized as meeting the legal requirements in 29 CFR 1910.7. In brief, these requirements are the capability, control programs, complete independence, and reporting and complaint handling procedures to test and certify specific types of products for workplace safety. This means, in part, that an organization must have the necessary capability both as a product safety testing laboratory and as a product certification body to receive OSHA recognition as an NRTL.