Monday, 20 June 2016 10:55

Cold pressed technology delivers raw Oz milk to shelves

Written by  Rick Bayne
Stuart and Hayley Menzies provide their Jersey milk to a milk processor marketing raw milk. Stuart and Hayley Menzies provide their Jersey milk to a milk processor marketing raw milk.

It's business as usual for NSW farmers Stuart and Hayley Menzies even though they're now the sole suppliers of a product touted as the world's first safe-to-drink raw milk.

Made By Cow Cold Pressed Raw Milk uses a cold-pressed process to ensure the milk is safe and approved for consumption but requires high quality source material.

However, the suppliers haven't had to change much because Made By Cow founder Saxon Joye says the Menzies's farm at Numbaa south of Berry already produced exceptionally high quality milk.

The process is an alternative to conventional heat pasteurisation and designed to retain the taste of raw milk.

"The cold-pressed technology is fairly simple," Joye says.

"We milk our Jersey herd – the milk goes straight into our bottles and then we put those bottles under our cold high water pressure system to eliminate any harmful bacteria or pathogens.

"It's a three-part system – in addition to the technology we rely on careful herd management and hygienic milking practices because we need a very high quality milk to use our process."

Joye says Made By Cow had looked at several dairies and chose the Menzies's farm because of its milk quality and hygienic milking practices.

"They monitor every cow to check how they are performing and get an enormous amount of data," he said.

"They know every one of their cows by name. The cows are all well fed on pasture. Jersey milk works beautifully with the technology."

Hayley Menzies says they "didn't have to jump through hoops" to make changes to meet the quality demanded.

"We haven't changed too much," she says. "We always insist on clean cups, a clean platform, clean teats, and clean people with gloves and aprons.

"We use a pre and post teat spray to help keep the cows' udder health in good condition and we use heat-time monitors.

"The whole herd's sematic cell count is fairly low anyway."

The only structural changes needed were the addition of a second vat and second wash system.

While the bulk of the farm's milk continues to supply Parmalat, Menzies says it was hoped the raw milk produce would provide a solid alternative.

"We're hoping it will pay for itself quite quickly," she said.

"They've taken two lots so far and predict the volumes will increase. There has been a general shift in the public to buying branded milk so I think this sort of product with take-off."

"They wanted a nice thick layer of cream on top.

"Because the milk is not homogenised, the Jersey milk being a bit higher in fat and protein is a good mix for them."

At this stage the farm is sticking to its existing herd of just under 300.

Joye has been in food manufacturing for about 20 years and migrated to the cold process technology for the benefits it brings to many different foods.

"The Holy Grail for us was could we take raw milk and keep all the good stuff but make it safe to drink," he said.

Joye said the cold-pressed raw milk and passed through a rigorous review and was approved by the NSW Food Authority.

"There is a lot of scientific rigour behind it," he says.

"We had to find the right time and cold pressure recipe to bring to the market something equivalent to the safety of heat pasteurisation."

The launch has created enormous interest and Mr Joye expected the first stocks to sell out within two days.

"We've done a small batch at this stage to see if the market is interested in another option," he says.

"We can't predict how much production we will need. Time will tell if people embrace the less-messed-with product but so far the response has been very positive."

Initially launched in NSW, Joye says Made By Cow would consider interstate opportunities.

"We pay a premium but have an expectation we get a really high quality milk; we're really happy and so are our farmers. If the market is there we'd consider interstate options."

The milk has longer shelf life which could lead to easier distribution around the country.

Joye says the cold pressure system had very little effect on original colour and flavour.

"It tastes the same as raw milk but we have all the safety steps in there."

Hayley Menzies says Stuart supported that claim.

"He says it tastes like it's just out of the vat".

 

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