Energy saving potential of emerging technologies in milk powder production

S.N. Moejes, A.J.B. van Boxtel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The food industry has a large potential for energy reduction which, with an eye on the future, has to be exploited. Milk powder production consists of many thermal processes and is responsible for 15% of the total energy use in the dairy industry. A reduction in energy consumption can be realized by using innovative technologies instead of realizing incremental process modifications. Scope and approach: In this work first the current practice in milk powder production is described and analyzed with respect to energy consumption. Then the potential of emerging technologies for milk processing like membrane distillation, monodisperse-droplet drying, air dehumidification, radio frequency heating, combined with renewable energy sources as solar thermal systems, are investigated. Finally the energy consumption of the emerging technologies is compared to that of the current technologies, new production chains are proposed and evaluated with respect to their total energy consumption. Key findings and conclusions: In this review we show that the combination of emerging technologies is able to reduce the operational energy consumption for milk powder production up to 60%, i.e. from 10 MJ/kg powder in current production to 4-5 MJ/kg powder. The implementation of these technologies and development of new production chains is essential to meet the future demand on energy efficient processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Air dehumidification
  • Energy consumption
  • Membrane distillation
  • Milk powder
  • Monodisperse-droplet drying
  • Radio frequency heating


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