GEA develops serum separator for Amul to reduce fat losses in Ghee production

With a newly developed GEA serum separator Amul significantly reduced fat losses by 85% & increased Ghee production by 30%
GEA develops serum separator for Amul to reduce fat losses in Ghee production
The GEA serum separator was developed based on Amul Dairy's requirements for the local market with a capacity of 3,000 liters per hour. Photo - GEA

Continuing its tradition of customer-centric, innovative solutions, GEA has engineered a unique Ghee processing separator for its customer Amul Dairy, the market leader in the Indian dairy sector and one of the largest milk unions in the state of Gujarat.

With the customized GEA 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.

"GEA's custom-designed centrifuge has transformed our Ghee production," says Amit Vyas, managing director of Amul Dairy. "After installing the GEA separator, we were able to reduce our fat losses dramatically – 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."

Holistic approach – targeted solution

The GEA team worked closely with Amul Dairy to develop a customized solution, thoroughly understanding the entire process's nature. "One precondition for a perfectly performing centrifuge is a detailed understanding of the overall process, the particular requirements at every single step and finally the seamless integration of the centrifuge into the line," explains Thomas Veer, product manager Sales, Separation and Flow Technologies Division at GEA. "Amul's previous Ghee production unit had a conventional pre-stratification setup, resulting in high-fat losses on the order of 2%. With thousands of liters of butter melted every day, the 2% fat loss was significantly impacting their bottom line. The traditional setup also posed operational challenges and was problematic concerning safety, hygiene and energy consumption."

Amul Dairy products
Amul Dairy productsPhoto - GEA

GEA developed its groundbreaking serum separator based on Amul Dairy's requirements for the local market. With a capacity of 3,000 liters per hour, the separator allows Amul to bypass the conventional pre-stratification set up and scale up its production to generate an additional volume of 6 metric tons per day with no additional equipment or investment in the plant.

Success and sustainability into the future

Amul Dairy's new installation has reduced its effluent treatment plant (ETP), resulting in significant savings in overall power and fuel consumption and benefiting Amul Dairy's sustainability initiatives. The GEA serum Separator also helps reduce the turnaround time of the production process.

"GEA and Amul enjoy a longstanding partnership, with GEA supplying some of Amul's largest capacity processing plants and equipment," says Deepak Singh, vice president of Separation and Flow Technologies Business, GEA India. "The GEA serum separator marks yet another step forward in our relationship. This machine is future-proof; the robust engineering allows the serum Separator to function as a standalone unit or be integrated with future automation solutions to serve a growing market. And the installation is more energy-efficient overall."

India produces around 5 million metric tons of Ghee every year; it is the second-largest milk-based product consumed in India after curd. Although Ghee is largely produced in the unorganized sector, the market penetration of the organized sector is increasing gradually. The Covid-19 pandemic has further boosted the demand for packaged food products, including packaged Ghee.

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