Campus News

UW-Madison researchers begin creating refrigeration-free milk, lead dairy industry with new technology

A new project by the Center for Dairy Research could end the need to refrigerate dairy beverages.  

Image By: Kalli Anderson

Director of the Center for Dairy Research John Lucey announced that due to a recent decline in consumption of fluid dairy products, including milk the CDR will begin creating a refrigeration-free fluid dairy beverage with new grant money. 

Currently, Babcock Dairy has a milk bottling facility, but with the new grant of $650,000 from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, they will be able to get the equipment needed to properly sterilize milk and bottle it, killing all the bacteria that would cause the milk to spoil.

“We have the ability to heat it to ultra-high temperatures and package it in a sterile bottle to kill all pathogens and bacteria, so the beverage would not have to be kept in the refrigerator, we just lack the equipment,” Lucey said. 

He said the CDR has a history of working with young entrepreneurs in creating new products, having a “track record of working with beverage companies on innovation for beverages.”

Lucey hopes that this innovation will lead people back to fluid dairy products since the product can be more specialized, having higher protein levels, no lactose and more calcium.

“We’re trying to make products that would be attractive to today's consumers,” said Lucey. 

UW-Madison is at the forefront of innovation with this project, hoping that bigger companies will be attracted to the new technology that allows companies to create new products in a small, low-risk setting.

“It’s a very exciting initiative, the kind of equipment is so specialized, there isn’t equipment set up to do anything like this on any university in the United States,” Lucey said. 

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