Idaho Milk Products is celebrating completion of the $30 million expansion at its Jerome, Ida., facility. Construction began in October 2018, and a ribbon cutting is planned in September 2019.
The site has undergone many changes in recent months, including a new research and development pilot plant. Processing capacity also increased by 1 million lb. of milk per day.
“We are excited about the capabilities our pilot plant space will provide us to help our customers,” said Dr. Chenchaiah Marella, vice president of research and product development. “With state-of-the-art equipment, a product characterization lab and 1,500 sq. ft. of processing area, we will offer our customers faster response time and a higher level of confidence in formulating successful, trending products.”
The list of equipment available for formulation work includes a Microthermics UHT/HTST Lab, a membrane separation unit, an ice cream freezer, a small spray dryer, a plate and frame heat exchanger, a two-stage homogenizer, a fluidized bed dryer, canning and sterilization setup for retort processing and a V blender with intensifying bar. This will provide the ability to work on and test ready-to-drink beverages, yogurts, ready-to-mix beverages, ice cream, protein bars, retort processing and more.
“This pilot plant assures our customers that we are committed to using our expertise formulating with proteins to help them create the most successful products possible,” said Joe Henry, vice president of sales and marketing at Iowa Milk Products. “Not only do we offer award-winning dairy ingredients, [but] we back them up with value-added service – a double win for our customers.”