Arla Foods - Brabrand Dairy

Arla Foods is one of the world’s leading producers of dairy products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt. At Denmark’s largest yoghurt dairy, in Brabrand, Arla produces a large volume of soured milk products that are fresh and ready every day in shop refrigerators and on consumers’ breakfast tables in Denmark, Scandinavia and the EU.

Sterile sampling ensures bacteriologically pure products and better traceability, enhancing the dairy’s global competitiveness by increasing efficiency.

The company’s most important valves

Brabrand Dairy products include junket, yoghurt and various desserts. Theses are poured into tubs and cartons on an aseptic bottling line supplied by Krones AG, based in Germany, and specially designed for long-life dairy products.

A total of 14 Keofitt valves are placed at strategic points in the process line, from berry delivery, through production, to bottling of the finished products. The valves are an important supplement to the dairy’s own comprehensive controls: bacteriological, chemical, physical and flavour-related samples.

Overripe berries can quickly ruin a whole yoghurt production, so valves are used with openings large enough for taking samples with the correct viscosity and particles. The valves also prevent cross-contamination between the product and sample.

Valves save on drilling and welding

The 300-m-long advanced Krones bottling line is the longest of its kind in Denmark. Sterile quality control is a particular challenge in long pipe systems, where the only alternative for sterile testing of the product is through invasive measures, e.g. drilling holes in the pipes and manually removing samples.

Such measures comprise a further potential contamination risk, so the correctly positioned valves are the best way of eliminating external contamination.

Improved traceability

Modern yoghurt production must fulfil increasingly strict demands from the authorities and consumers regarding food health and safety. The key to effective traceability is therefore to isolate the critical factors.

The bottling line is divided into 12 sections and at each intersection or point in the bottling line where e.g. water, steam or the product is added, the machine is equipped with valves. Every production variable can then be isolated and tested. Early tracing prevents the contamination from spreading, ruining large quantities and causing long production stops.

The fastest route to the shelves

A shorter route to market and longer shelf-lives are two vital parameters for success in a competitive global food market. And once again, sterile valves play an important role by speeding up the manufacturing process and thereby ensuring longer shelf-lives for fresh products.

Microbiological tests shorten lead times in production and increase flexibility. With aseptic quality control, Arla offers its customers a shorter time to market and consumers get fresher dairy products in their refrigerators.

Increased competitiveness

Bacteriological control has increased the uptime for each production in the bottling line from 36 hours to 48 hours. This means that a larger yoghurt tonnage can pass through the dairy faster. The better utilisation of the production equipment significantly increases the dairy’s capacity, resulting in a significant increase in the dairy’s competitiveness.

Sterile sampling is a profitable investment in long-term quality improvement.