Small scale vat pasteurizers
Radio interview source: Tom Gilbert, Director of Sales and Marketing, Bob White Systems
All milk that is bought at the grocery store has been pasteurized. Commercial dairy farms invest in large systems to ensure the products we consume are safe. Someone who milks just a few cows, goats, or sheep still needs to pasteurize products intended for sale. Vat pasteurizers work well for small volumes of milk, cheeses, and other liquids.
Tom Gilbert is the director of sales and marketing with a dairy equipment company. He says a vat pasteurizer is a jacketed vessel. The milk is on the inside, and the jacket around it allows for heating and cooling.
"Typically it would be heated with hot water or with steam, and then you have to have a recording thermometer so that you can document that you created a legal document to demonstrate that the milk has been pasteurized," says Gilbert. "And there again, that's irregardless of what size you have. So that means a thermometer that would go down into the milk and a chart recorder that creates a paper chart that becomes a legal document."
The chart verifies that the milk was heated to 145-degrees and held at that temperature for 30-minutes. Gilbert says when an inspector pays a visit, the vat pasteurizer gets a lot of attention.
"They're going to spend most of their time going through the records of the pasteurizer and looking at the pasteurizer making sure everything is clean and well maintained. It's not something to worry people, it's just that it's an important piece of equipment that has bearing on the product that you're producing."
Gilbert says dairies should have one person who is trained to work with the pasteurizer and keep the records.
The cost of a new 15-gallon vat pasteurizer is around $15,000. Holding capacities and prices go up from there.
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