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Over the past few years, the demand for high-quality milk powder has been growing steadily. It is predominantly tailor-made milk powders for specific applications that can be supplied in uniform quality and with guaranteed availability that are in demand.
The new MTW Milk Powder Plant, located in Neumünster, Germany, meets these requirements. The plant will process 600 million kilograms of regional milk into approximately 60,000 tons of milk powder each year. These products will then be marketed by Uelzena.
MTW Milchtrockenwerk Norddeutschland was founded by Uelzena and its three partners, the dairies Meierei Barmstedt, Meierei Wasbek and Meiereigenossenschaft Schmalfeld-Hasenmoor. These companies built the plant, which features one of the largest spraying towers in Europe as well as the latest technologies, like fully automated processes and a sophisticated hygiene concept.
The new facility is based on the combined food industry expertise available within the Uelzena Group. This is reflected, for example, in issues such as product safety, a quick response time to customer requests, product quality and range as well as access to the world market.
"The spraying tower has been designed to handle agglomerated products with high and low bulk weights as well as milk powder that meets the requirements of the American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI)," explains Bernd Gewecke, sales manager of MTW.
The product range comprises low heat and medium heat skimmed milk products. "In meeting our customer’s specifications, the products can be optimised in terms of solubility, degree of denaturation, particle size, lack of dusting properties and mixing behavior," Gewecke continues.
The highest possible hygiene and food safety standards are applied throughout the entire facility as can be seen in the advanced zone concept: the silo loading area is roofed; the automated packaging lines are operated in a high care zone. Redundant evaporation systems allow for the cleaning of all machines and equipment at the required intervals without impairing the production process. State-of-the-art metal detectors and scavengers located at the packaging lines provide for the required levels of safety.
Due to the specific design of our bags and sacks, our customers can use them in their own high care production areas without any problems. The MTW Milk Powder Plant has been FSSC 22000 certified. Other worldwide recognised certifications include halal and kosher certificates. "We also welcome important customer audits at our plant," says Bernd Gewecke.
The MTW Milk Powder Plant is extremely energy and resources efficient. Most of the energy needed to heat the milk will be recovered and the use of fresh water will be significantly reduced by applying optimised processes and additional process steps.
The MTW Milk Powder Plant is situated right in the centre of a large milk production and milk growth region in Germany. This keeps transportation routes short. However, of most significance is the fact that the milk is owned by the partners of the MTW, which are organised in the form of a dairy cooperative.
"For the customer, this means that the milk we process is fresh every day, comes from trustworthy sources and is reliably available," says Claus-Peter Witt, CEO of Uelzena. "For the farmers organised in our cooperative, the MTW Milk Powder Plant, in combination with the structures of Uelzena, an advanced food industry company, contributes to achieving higher milk prices and providing consistent added value."
The success confirms the strategy of the MTW partners: distribution agreements signed for 2014 guarantee that the entire production quantity of the entire year will be sold. For 2015, it is expected that the scheduled target quantity of 60,000 tons will be produced. Space for further expansion is available on the premises.