Burra Foods: Controlling sediment in farm milk (2021-22)

Controlling Sediment in Farm Milk (2021-22)

Date close:
Sunday, 5th September 2021

This project is proudly funded and supported by Gardiner Dairy Foundation

Subject to restrictions: A combination of remote work and work based in Koorumburra at Burra Foods, 47 Station St, Korumburra VIC 3950. Students should be prepared to live in the region and accommodation will be organised and paid for near the factory. Please note that accommodation will be provided Mon-Sun however students may return to their usual place of residence on weekends if they wish to do so. Any travel back and forth to the accommodation will be at the students expense and must comply with any restrictions in place.
Description of the project:

Sediment is a term used to describe heavy contaminants in milk. In milk direct from farm, sediment is usually an indication of how clean teats are and whether there is appropriate filtration on farm. Sediment can include particles of dust, dirt, manure, skin, hay and even feed. Whilst most sediment is fine particles, gross sediment can include grass seeds or dirt particles. By nature, sediment can contain bacteria and flavour compounds which could cause spoilage in milk or if not removed as part of milk processing, provide visual contamination through settling in clear milk bottles.

Dairy farmers will typically wash teats prior to applying cups which will remove gross particulates and have filtration systems on their vats. This should ensure no gross sediment contaminated the milk when it is collected from farm for processing. Based on farmer practices, seasonal conditions and equipment capability, sediment can get through the system and end up in collected milk when delivered to a factory for processing.

In most instances, milk can be separated as part of processing which will remove sediment from finished product. In some instances, milk is not separated in order to retain the integrity of the milk and it is processed directly. In these cases, sediment can cause downstream quality issues in finished product.

This project is to audit, assess and identify best practice sediment control on farm and determine the steps required to bring all up to best practice. If time permits, the identification of engineering controls to remove sediment at our processing facility without separation.

Project Aims:

1. Compare the processes, practices and capabilities in controlling sediment on farm for a number of Gippsland dairy farms (estimate 20 farms) to identify best practice.

2. Identify the requirements for all to reach best practice, including practices, estimated cost of engineering solutions and capability on farm.

3. Understand the current capabilities of sediment control at our milk processing facility and identify engineering options for fine sediment removal if milk is not separated (time permitting).

Available to:
All Students
Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Employment Type:
Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or
Hold an Australian permanent resident/humanitarian visa, or
Hold an international student visa (Must be Melbourne placed during placement period)

Applications for this project are welcome from penultimate and subsequent year undergraduates, Masters and PhD students (coursework and research) who are currently enrolled full-time at Monash including for the period December 2021 to end of February 2022.

Selection and Required Criteria:

Your application will be reviewed by senior university members and assessed against the following criteria:

  • Quality of covering letter, resume and on-line application including spelling & grammar

  • Relevance of your degree to the project(s) you select

  • Skills, ability, knowledge and experience relevant to the project(s) you apply for

  • Quick Learners, adaptable and enthusiastic.

  • Career goals and ambitions

  • Successful interview with industry partner

  • Experience or understanding of:
    Process engineering
    Dairy or agriculture
    Biology / chemistry
    Animal health and nutrition

Please note:

  • Scope for MITI projects are determined by the industry partners, this includes student disciplines and whether they require students at undergraduate, Masters or PhD level.

  • The final selection of the MITI project team will be made by the industry partner.

12 weeks
Max number of recipients:
Date close:
Sunday, 5th September 2021

Burra Foods is a Gippsland based dairy product manufacturer that has been selling value-added dairy ingredients to global markets for 30 years.

Specialising in creating products that deliver the functional and sensory characteristics of fresh milk, we have significant international market experience and a reputation for being a reliable supplier of high quality dairy products. These include natural cheese, fresh milk concentrates, food preparations, specialty milk powders, nutritional milk powders (including infant and life-stage nutritional powders) and fresh dairy ingredients.

Our manufacturing plant is located in the heart of South Gippsland at Korumburra, in south eastern Victoria, and we have offices in Melbourne, Japan and China.