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Milkguard- a continuous whole milk disinfection system for calf feeding on farm


Dairy farms are continuously aiming at increasing milk yield per cow in the herd. Calf early life nutrition dictates their development. Farmers feed a variety of liquid feeds including milk and milk replacers. The state-of-the-art method to reduce the risk of disease spread while feeding milk is to pasteurize it. Though natural milk is the ideal nutrition for calves, the need for pasteurization represents an additional cost of 100,000 €/ year (for a herd with 120 calves). Importantly, on-farm pasteurized milk may still contain measurable amounts of bacteria and the overall procedure is time- and energy-demanding, which hampers wide application amongst small and medium dairy farms.
The solution: We at Calvex have developed the milkGUARD solution, which enables the safe employment of optimum nutrition for calves, i.e. natural milk, free of pathogens. The milkGUARD solution combines state-of-the-art methods for fast killing of pathogens in natural milk. In a three-stage continuous process it disinfects milk with an efficacy of 99.99% - 100%. By providing a system that avoids indirect heating elements and works in continuous, we expect to reduce the operating costs to dairy farmers when treating milk for calf-feeding, offering e.g. 30% of energy savings when compared to conventional on-farm pasteurizers.
The market: Milk is the EU's main agricultural product in terms of value – approx. 15% of agricultural output – with 160 million tonnes of cow’s milk produced in 2014. The EU milk processing industry is a pillar of the European economy, which contributes positively to the EU trade balance, bringing over €10 billion surplus. The implementation of the innovation project will place Calvex in a strong position to exploit a market potential over five years exceeding €56 million.

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