GEA has engineered a ghee processing separator for its customer Amul Dairy in the Indian dairy sector – one of the largest milk unions in the state of Gujarat. With the customised serum separator, Amul Dairy has reduced fat losses by 85% and increased ghee production by 30% with no additional investment in the already existing plant.
Amit Vyas, managing director of Amul Dairy notes, “After installing the GEA separator, we were able to dramatically reduce our fat losses – from 2% down to 0.3% in the serum part – while increasing ghee production capacity by almost 30%. We achieved our ROI in less than a year, with the added benefit of improved safety, hygiene and energy efficiency.”
The GEA team worked with Amul Dairy to understand the nature of the entire process. Thomas Veer, product manager sales, separation and flow technologies division at GEA notes, “Amul’s previous ghee production unit had a conventional pre-stratification setup, which resulted in high-fat losses on the order of 2%. With thousands of litres of butter melted every day, the 2% fat loss was significantly impacting its bottom line. The traditional setup also posed operational challenges and was problematic with regard to safety, hygiene and energy consumption.”
GEA developed its serum separator based on Amul Dairy’s requirements for the local market. With a capacity of 3,000 litres per hour, the separator allows Amul to bypass the conventional pre-stratification setup and scale up its production to generate an additional volume of six metric tons per day with no additional equipment or investment in the plant.
Amul Dairy’s new installation has reduced the load on its effluent treatment plant (ETP), resulting in large savings in overall power and fuel consumption and benefiting Amul Dairy’s sustainability initiatives. The separator also helps reduce the turnaround time of the production process.
India produces around five million metric tons of ghee every year and it is the second-largest milk-based product consumed in India after curd. Although ghee is largely produced in the unorganised sector, the market penetration of the organised sector is increasing gradually. The Covid-19 pandemic has further boosted the demand for packaged food products, including packaged ghee.