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Lactose manufacture

Highest yield with the best quality

Flottweg decanter for the industrial production of the purest lactose

Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is a sugar that occurs naturally in milk and is a major constituent of whey. Lactose is often used as a sugar supplement in various foods because it is less sweet than normal sugar. In pharmaceuticals, lactose also plays an important role as a binder or filler in tablets. A by-product of the cheese and casein industry, lactose is a valuable product that can be profitably purified and dewatered using industrial centrifuges. A hygienic decanter designed specifically for industrial lactose production can separate purified lactose as a 90% dry solid and feed it directly to the dryer.

Our centrifuges for the production of lactose

How does the process of extracting lactose work?

Lactose is extracted from whey by crystallization, a process affected by several factors including pH, temperature, and composition. As in the production of casein, the manufacture of milk sugar involves several wash steps. The first wash is used to loosen the crystallized lactose from the parent solution. During the second wash, the addition of cold water removes contamination. These are, for example, protein, lactic acid, and minerals. The third wash completes the process and ensures the purest possible end product.

The adapted design of the decanter centrifuges meets both the requirements for hygiene and the highest possible dry solids content. Washing the lactose using the counterflow principle also saves water consumption costs.

Another advantage of the classic decanter process is the very high yield without loss of lactose. The multi-stage lactose wash process and the prolonged retention time in the decanter ensure optimum separation of the milk sugar and a high degree of purification.

Example of lactose extraction process Example of lactose extraction process

Benefits of lactose extraction


Customized solutions

In addition to the premium quality of our separation solutions, we support our customers with comprehensive advice and laboratory tests. We also offer pilot testing to accurately configure the machine, as well as on-site commissioning, process optimization, and integration into the overall system.


The highest level of quality and hygiene

Flottweg is very familiar with the challenges faced by its customers and ensures optimum product quality by using high-quality materials. The housing and rotor design meet the requirements of a CIP-capable plant. Cleaning of the housing and scroll body is facilitated by numerous spray nozzles. The seals in contact with the product are made of FDA-compliant material.


Maximum dewatering – Simp-Drive®

The Flottweg-developed Simp Drive® gearbox regulates the differential speed as a function of the scroll torque. This means that the Flottweg decanter automatically adapts to different load conditions. As a result, the milk sugar is dewatered to reach a maximum total dry solids content.


High g-forces for maximum yield

Flottweg centrifuges ensure the best dewatering results thanks to their high g-forces: Forces of up to 4,622 g are possible. In addition to higher throughput, a better separation resolution can be achieved.


Adjustable impeller - always an optimized process

The closed system allows the clarified liquid phase to be discharged from the bowl under pressure via an adjustable impeller. The advantages of this technology are evident: A flexible balance between maximum DS content and centrate purity. The prevailing pressure prevents the liquid from frothing.


High machine availability

The efficient Flottweg oil/air lubrication system optimally supplies the drum bearings with fresh, high-quality lubricating oil. This keeps the bearings cool and lubricated. Since an oil change is not necessary, oil consumption is reduced to a minimum.


Do you have questions about the manufacture of lactose using Flottweg centrifuges?

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