How pollution is a brake on dairy industry?
By Shahid Husain
KARACHI: Seventeen units, including three run by multinational companies, are engaged in the manufacture of dairy products in Pakistan, but environmental pollution, as well as an inadequate supply chain, is hampering the growth of the dairy industry. Noise pollution is one of the factors.
“Pakistan exports meat to Saudi Arabia but is yet to export dairy products to it, although that is a possibility,” said Ibad-ur-Rehman, an executive of Cleaner Production Programme, a private-sector company based in Karachi that offers environmental solution packages to the industry in the backdrop of rising local and international competition.
“The growth necessitates consistent and adequate supply of raw material, and this is possible in contract production. This is being done by at least one multinational company.”
“Balochistan and Tharparkar district in Sindh, which have a sizeable livestock population, are some of the ideal locations for dairy farming, besides Punjab,” he said.
Milk, by and large, is the main ingredient of almost all dairy products. Average daily production of milk in Pakistan is about 130 million litres. Most of the traded milk is marketed unprocessed, and hardly two percent of the traded milk is processed by the dairy industry in Pakistan. Processed liquid milk in the form of pasteurised milk or ultra-heat-treated (UHT) milk is the main dairy product in Pakistan. Other products include dry powdered milk, cream, butter, butter oil, yoghurt, cheese and ice cream.
The milk-manufacturing process includes pasteurisation, homogenisation, UHT treatment and packing. Through little additional work, cream is also produced during the pasteurisation cycle. Pasteurised cream is churned to make butter. In order to obtain butter oil, butter is heated to 90C degrees in ghee-melters and then liquefied. The milk powder-making process primarily involves “evaporation” and “drying.” The main steps around which whole ice cream manufacturing process revolves are pasteurisation, homogenisation, freezing and packing.
But CPP findings show that the major environmental problem of the dairy industry is wastewater, while solid waste, soil pollution and noise pollution are potential aspects of environmental pollution. Wastewater generation at a dairy industry is characterised by very large volumes of discharge besides the pollution loading from various dairy processes. Estimates show that the proportion of the waste discharge at a typical dairy industry per unit of processed milk ranges from 12:1 to 24:1. This is a very high figure considering the typical ratio of 3:1 in cleaner factories in the developed countries. In modern plants this ratio gets as low as 1:1.
Major sources of wastewater include vehicle/tanker washings, cooling water, containers, equipment and floor washings, cleaning in place (CIP) water, steam condensate, water from milk evaporation and boiler blowdown.
Furthermore, a variety of solid waste is generated from the production area, the offices and other ancillary activities at a typical dairy. This waste is either sold or is burnt.
It is estimated that reduction in water consumption by up to 20-50 m3/day can be achieved by installation of water guns/valves at the tanker washing area, recycling of last rinse for first washing of the next tanker and using first rinse of the tanker container washing in the process because it contains large quantity of milk contents after the needed precautions are taken.
Through optimising current CIP procedures approximately 25 percent of water savings can be achieved.