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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 2

I Technology Transported; 1788-1840

II Technology Established; 1840-1940

III The Coming Of Science

IV From Science To Technology: The Post-war Years

V Products And Processes
i Frozen Foods
ii Instant and Convenience Foods
iii Dairy Technology
iv Packaging

VI Conclusion

VII Acknowledgements



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CSIR in 1940 began work on butter quality, specifically taints and off-flavour development, and during the war developed butter oil, production of which began in April 1942, and a hardened butter more suitable for use by allied forces in the tropics. After the war E. G. Pont led some thorough investigations into buttermaking and modifications based on his results on the influence of pH, copper and storage temperatures were transferred to industry through Victorian Department of Agriculture extension officers. They were of considerable economic value.

The limited spreadability of butter, perceived as a disadvantage compared with margarine, was studied in some detail at the Gilbert Chandler Institute of Dairy Technology (GCIDT) from the 1960s. The effect of seasonal variations was quantified under Australian conditions, the influence of working described, and the value of fractionating butterfat for selection of softer fractions identified. Recommendations based on this information for the manufacture of softer butter for retail and for modified butter to compete with margarine as a shortening fell on deaf ears. There were costs involved, especially in fractionation, but there was no financial incentive for the industry to change its technology. It also maintained the arrogant view that butter was good and the consumer had better believe it.

In 1966, almost surreptitiously, work was begun at GCIDT on the manufacture of Dairy Blend, a mixture of butterfat and vegetable oil which was well known overseas. By the 1970s several groups supplied with Australian Dairy Research Committee funds were working on it but the results lay dormant until the successful marketing in Europe of a Swedish product revived interest. The Swedes add oil to cream and proceed from there. An Australian innovation developed by B. D. Dixon at GCIDT adds the oil to the butter granules between churning and working. This is far more flexible than the Swedish method and gives products which cannot be differentiated. Dairy Blend, which by regulation must contain between 15 and 25 per cent of vegetable oil, has been marketed in Australia in the 1980s but the single Australian manufacturer chose to import Swedish technology.

Some important scientific work in this period by P. W. Parodi in the Queensland Butter Board Laboratories in Brisbane and by R. E. Timms in CSIRO Dairy Research Laboratories should also be noted.

Recombined Milk Products [197]

Some milk components may be separated from each other and dried. They may then be transported easily over long distances and recombined to yield various dairy products; milk, cream, butter, ice-cream, cheese and condensed and fermented products. Recombining plants were established during the Second World War by the Americans at various military bases and since then the technology has been developed by dairy countries, such as Australia, to establish plants in Asian and other areas to use dairy components, such as anhydrous butter fat and skim milk powder, exported to them. It is obvious that successful recombination will depend on the successful reconstitution with water of the various dry powders, on the non-development of flavour defects during storage and on the faithfulness with which the desired product can be reproduced. All dairy countries have followed the basic technologies, but if only because of normal biological variations in local milk supplies, all have carried out R & D on recombination. Australia has played a leading role and the work here has been done by the CSIRO Dairy Research Laboratory which has guided local industry in the manufacture of the components, the Australian Dairy Produce Board (later the Australian Dairy Corporation) in establishing recombining plants in Asia and the recombining plants themselves in making the products required.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Australian Dairy Corporation; Australian Dairy Research Committee; CSIRO Dairy Research Section; Gilbert Chandler Institute of Dairy Research; Kraft Foods Limited

People in Bright Sparcs - Dixon, B. D.; Parodi, P. W.; Pont, E. G.; Timms, R. E.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 136 - 138, Online Edition 2000
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