||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
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
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.
Recombined Milk Products 
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.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 136 - 138, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher