The production of dairy products of all kinds requires extensive testing from end to end, requiring facilities during every phase of the process to have on-site or local laboratory facilities available to perform testing. Dairy products like milk, kefir, yogurt, cheese, and so on are produced in food-safe facilities, designed to mitigate and prevent the growth of bacteria and other contaminants to maintain the quality of the finished product.
Food laboratories like those in dairy production facilities are responsible for the testing of dairy products from the beginning phases to the final moments before being shipped off for sale. Dairy labs perform quality assurance testing like alcohol and acidity testing, butterfat content testing, freezing point testing, and so on.
These tests can be performed on a variety of dairy products from liquid milk, cream, and kefir to powdered milk, or more solid butter, cream cheese, and yogurt.
Phases of Dairy Testing
Dairy products must be tested throughout every phase of the production process, both for quality assurance and in order to monitor the progress of items like cheeses, yogurts, and other aged dairy products. With such extensive testing requirements, dairy producers and manufacturers will typically have on-site laboratory facilities on site.
Many of these facilities are referred to as QA/QC labs (quality assurance/quality control). Here is a general overview of the phases of dairy testing:
- Farmyard sample testing: samples taken on-site at dairy farms are tested for quality, and to test for the health of the animal. Some testing to assess milk-fat and overall quality may be done in order to determine the value of the milk prior to sale
- Tanker sample testing: as production companies receive tankers of milk, each must be re-tested for quality before being released for production. Without testing, manufacturers risk tainting large batches of milk, making them unfit for use
- Production testing: milk must be filtered, pasteurized, and skimmed to ensure proper milk-fat before being packaged for sale. Cheese, yogurt, and other specialty dairy products must also be tested throughout the course of production to assess bacterial counts, temperature, etc.
- Shelf-life testing: shelf-life testing is performed to assess whether the estimated shelf-life of the product is correct. Shelf-life testing involves keeping dairy products at elevated temperatures in a controlled environment to continually measure bacterial growth and quality decline
Microscope Lab Tables
In the course of testing bacterial growth and counts, dairy lab researchers and technicians in QA/QC labs examine samples using microscopes. Bacteria are too small to be seen by the naked eye, and must instead be examed under special equipment to allow researchers to properly assess sample quality.
Microscopes can be finicky and delicate, and if jostled around, can easily be disrupted, resulting in inaccurate readings and results.
At OnePointe Solutions, we offer a range of microscope tables to help make the job of assessing dairy samples easy and convenient. Our microscope tables feature anti-vibration frames with custom microscope housing to safely store your equipment both during and after use.
Microscope tables help to keep sensitive equipment safe and help to ensure a workstation set up with a microscope is always available to lab personnel.
Epoxy and Stainless Steel Lab Sinks
With the handling of liquid dairy samples comes the need for readily accessible water and plumbing. Workstations with built-in sinks make it easier for lab personnel to quickly perform necessary cleaning procedures, and to dispose of samples that are no longer needed.
OnePointe Solutions supplies high-quality workstations and lab tables with a variety of optional features including drop-in sinks for easy access to running water and plumbing in the lab.
In food and dairy labs, water and moisture resistance are of the utmost importance, which is why we recommend choosing epoxy resin or stainless steel worksurfaces. These materials can be built to accommodate standard laboratory drop-in sinks, and won’t degrade, corrode, or bend with continued exposure to moisture, water, and liquid dairy products.
Additionally, epoxy resin and stainless steel are easy to keep clean, helping to prevent the buildup of bacteria in the sanitary dairy lab environment. For additional utility, opt to install drying racks above your sinks and countertops for additional space to dry test tubes, jars, and other containers that may be used during the course of testing.
Custom Design for Labs of Any Size
Since testing is necessary at every phase of production, dairy labs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. No matter the size and scope of your facility, OnePointe Solutions can help you maximize your space to optimize workflow.
Our design team can make a personal visit to your site in order to assess the needs of your facility. In collaboration with your team, we’ll create a custom design plan complete with 3D renderings and a custom quote.
Speaker to Lab Designer Today
At OnePointe Solutions, our versatile laboratory designers can help walk you through the process of selecting the right furniture, as well as, helping you design and layout your food laboratory to have it ready for production, testing, and shipping. Give us a call at (866) 222 -7494 to get started.