Milk Processing

Course content

The course primarily deals with the following subjects:

Milk production: Influence of housing and feeding regime, Milking and its influence on raw milk quality, Organic production of milk, Feed quality and legislation.

The physical chemistry of milk processing: Milk as a colloidal system(physical-chemical aspects), The effect of heat treatment on milk, Separation processes, such as ultrafiltration and chromatographic techniques. The effects of homogenization on milk.

Functionality of milk constituents: Solubility, Interfacial properties, Gelation properties, Functional milk fat, Uses of lactose and minerals, Health functionality/bioactivity.


MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology

Learning outcome

This course has the overall aim of providing students with a detailed knowledge of both theoretical and practical aspects of milk production, milk as a colloidal system and the basic unit operations of dairy processing. In addition, the functionality of food ingredeints derived from milk will be covered.

After completing the course the student should be able to:


  • Describe the colloidal interactions governing stabilization and destabilization of milk and dairy products
  • State the major factors influencing milk production and raw milk quality
  • Outline the factors affecting milk ingredient functionality in food systems
  • Appreciate the economics involved in dairy production and processing


  • Apply the principles of colloid science to milk processing and milk ingredient functionality
  • Structure a scientific presentation and produce a condensed synopsis


  • Understand the effects of feed and processing on milk components
  • Discuss the factors influencing milk ingredient functionality
  • Know how unit operations (chiefly heat treatment) affect milk constituents and the properties of milk
  • Reflect on the health functionality/bioactivity of milk constituents
  • Recognise the importance of working effectively in a group during laboratory practicals

The course consists of lectures and tutorials (4-8 hrs/week) and laboratory practicals (4-8 hrs/week), as well as e-learning, and field trips.
Lectures and tutotials provide an overview of milk quality and processing. Laboratory practicals dealing with aspects of milk as a colloidal system and milk protein functionality are also included as well as excursions. Part of the module (three days during one week) will take place at The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Jutland and a one-day trip to Arla Foods, Brabrand, Jutland.

See Absalon for specific course literature.

Knowledge equivalent to a dairy internship.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Oral examination based on the preparation of a synopsis of a subject within the curriculum. One week prior to the actual exam, students draw a subject and prepare a written synopsis (1-4 pages), which will be given to the examiners and then presented orally. The presentation should take no more than 10 minutes. Following the presentation the internal examiners will ask questions for 5-10 minutes.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

Cf. learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 26
  • Theory exercises
  • 15
  • Practical exercises
  • 32
  • Exam
  • 10
  • Excursions
  • 30
  • E-Learning
  • 3
  • Preparation
  • 90
  • English
  • 206