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We started our collaboration with Zoogamma almost ten years ago with a specific aim: to increase the company’s performance in terms of the volume of whey powder production (Efficiency means not only guaranteeing state-of-the-art technology, but also being able to respond promptly to urgent needs and to plan a sustainable technology development plan over time: and this is what the CFT Group has done for Zoogamma in recent years.
Zoogamma is a company which has been operating in the agri-food sector for more than 40 years, specialising in the production of food for rearing and weaning well-grown calves.
Today Zoogamma is the national leader in the production of “milk-based” foods (about 75-80% on a national basis) and high-fibre foods (about 50% on a national basis). Production is carried out at the Ghedi (BS) plant, where milk- and fibre-based feeds are produced, while whey powder is produced at the Casalbuttano and Uniti (CR) plant.
Calf rearing is intended for leading retail groups, with a production of over 50,000 calves each year. Zoogamma’s work is based above all on developing good relationships with Italian breeders, while it also aims to continuously improve the technical aspects of feeding and breeding.
The main objective of Zoogamma is to provide the market with high-quality products that can meet the needs of farmers. In this way, the company makes a fundamental contribution to the production of high-quality veal, guaranteeing safety to the consumer. Abiding by the principles of food safety, maintaining high standards of hygiene on farms, protecting the environment and animal welfare are at the heart of Zoogamma’s work.
Zoogamma is part of the Dutch group Van Drie, which has more than 20 companies and meets 30% of Europe’s demand for veal.
In 2012 Zoogamma’s business was already well established, but the company was looking to improve its productivity. How can an ever-increasing output be reconciled with the need to increase production volumes?
The solution we provided for Zoogamma is the Apollo falling film evaporator, renowned for its excellent reliability and the refinement of its processing of the product.
Its extraordinary level of energy saving has never been achieved by other applications: Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR) technology uses a centrifugal fan driven by an electric motor or steam turbine to compress the vapour in the separation chamber, thereby increasing their enthalpy and allowing them to be used as a heating medium in the exchanger. This means a significant reduction in management costs and a big improvement in quality.
Apollo is capable of concentrating up to 55,000 kg/hr of whey from 22% to 60%, with an evaporation rate ranging from 12t/hr to 40 t/hr. The product obtained can be used as it is in the form of a concentrated liquid, or it can be transformed into a solid powder by using an alternative technology. Thanks to a minimum holding time (only a few minutes) and the reduced temperature difference (6°) between the steam exchanger and the product inside the tubes, the product is not damaged in any way. The quality of the output concentrate is very high and this is difficult to obtain using other concentration technologies.
The processing times of this technology are much more efficient than with any other machine with a similar function (12-14 hours without washing, compared to 8-10 hours of other technologies on the market).
Our solution for Zoogamma for the production of whey powder initially involved the installation of an Apollo, but after a short time the company was convinced by the excellent results in terms of quality and efficiency and decided to install a second and a third Apollo in a few years.
Future prospects: the powdered milk market
The global market for powdered milk was estimated to be 1 $27.8 million in 2017, and is expected to reach $38 million by 2025, with an annual growth of 4.4%. The most important market is China, which accounts for about 26% of the global market for powdered milk.
The latest system installed for Zoogamma is also designed for the production of ingredients suitable for human consumption, such as whey used for whey protein concentrates.
The size of the global market for whey protein ingredients has been estimated2 at $8,216 million in 2015 and is expected to reach $15,037 million by 2022, recording a CAGR of 9.2% over the forecast period. Whey protein ingredients are globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material obtained as a by-product of cheese production.