Before the commercial dairy industry and Dairy Dynamics, our farmers kept animals and harvested crops to provide for our own needs. Previously, our Animals were utilized not only for heavy work, but also as a source of food. Cows were used for the production of milk and meat. Back then, families were almost completely self-sufficient. During industrialization, farmers became suppliers for consumers, and the farms grew in size.
Less farms with more animals is a trend that continues into today. The separation between farm, dairy and consumers has become greater, as did the time lapse between milking and the drinking of milk. Milk storage on the farm, and the time taken to bridge the gap between producer and consumer gave bacteria the chance to grow in this nutritious liquid. Since then it became difficult to keep milk quality at the same level as just after milking.
Lowering the temperature of stored milk, chemical processes and microbiological growth will slow down, delaying the reduction in quality. This knowledge has allowed farmers, transporters, and dairy organizations to provide milk to consumers after a time delay, without an impact on quality.
Cooling is a great method to keep the quality of milk at a high level.
Refrigerating milk on the farm has two goals
- to inhibit bacterial spoilage
- to extend storage on the farm so as to decrease milk transport costs.
Full hygiene in all aspects of milk production is essential in the production of quality milk. A crucial aspect is to ensure that the growth of bacteria during the storage interval must also be curtailed. At body temperature, bacteria in milk will multiply very quickly and even milk with a low initial bacteria count
will sour rapidly. Milk produced under hygienic conditions will retain good quality for a period of up to 15 to 20 hours. However, it is not only the storage temperature that is important; the cooling time to reach storage temperature, normally 4 °C, is also critical. Bulk milk coolers have been specially designed to cool the milk to 4 °C within a specified time period.