Significant energy savings with dry blend lactose

Dry blend lactose improves sustainable production and increases output efficiency 

By using a product called “dry blend lactose”, we’re enabling infant formula manufacturing (IMF) customers to significantly reduce their energy usage.

Innovating for environmental efficiency

Lactose is usually supplied and used in wet blends that also contain the other key ingredients in infant formula, such as proteins, fats, skim milk powder, vitamins and minerals. These wet blends are then heat-treated and spray-dried ready for packaging. But the process of mixing, heating up and drying such wet blends is very energy-intensive. In fact, the drying process stands for the largest part of energy consumption at an IMF production plant.

To support more sustainable production, and to increase overall output efficiency for our customers, we provide a dry blend version of lactose that can be introduced to the manufacturing process after wet mixing and spray drying of the other ingredients has taken place. In other words, the lactose is simply combined with other spray-dried wet blend ingredients and packaged for transport. Essentially, this means our customers don’t need to use energy to dissolve the dry blend and spray dry it again before it’s ready for usage.

Significant savings

How much of a difference can this innovation make? Dry blend lactose can be used in up to 25 percent of the final product. So IMF producers, including Arla Foods Ingredients’ own Arinco plant, can save up to 25 percent of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in GHG (Green House Gas) emissions connected to the drying process – or up to 150 kg of CO2e per ton of finished product.
Furthermore, in addition to energy savings for existing production volumes, using dry blend lactose also enables manufacturers to increase their output dramatically without requiring significant capital investment.
And, as an added bonus, the quality and food safety requirements for dry blend lactose are among the highest in the industry, leading to consistent high quality and, therefore, ensuring more uniform, reliable quality across production batches.

Investing for a more efficient future

Significant investments in dry blend lactose production capacity enable Arla Foods Ingredients to guarantee sufficient supply for our customers. By continuing to invest in such capacity, we enable infant formula manufacturers to meet their sustainability goals with added confidence.