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A German PhD student has been awarded the Food Engineer of the Year Award for developing a cheaper system for homogenising milk.

Karsten Kohler, from Wiesbaden in Germany, flew into London to receive the honour, presented by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Master Butcher, Brian Wheatley.

Kohler attends Karlsruhe University in the Bundesland Baden-Wurttemberg in south-west Germany.

The Food Engineering Committee, which is jointly run by IMechE and the Institution of Food Service Technology (IFST), offers the award every year to help raise the profile of food engineering and promote the best standards within the industry.

Kohler beat all other entrants with his winning paper entitled ‘Design of a microstructured system for homogenisation of dairy products with high fat content’.

The homogenisation process stops fat droplets from gathering together in whole milk and forming a thick layer of cream on the top just a few days after it is fresh.

His design took the cream formed in the milk and mixed it with skimmed milk, which as a result created whole milk again but with smaller fat droplets.

The process also retained 90 per cent of energy that is used, instead of the typical 40 per cent, which in turn lowered the overall cost.

The competition, which has been running for eight years and is sponsored by the PM Group, opens every year in September to professional engineers, graduates and undergraduates studying or training to become a food engineer.

Entries are accepted from all areas of food engineering and people must send in a summary of the paper they intend to enter and those shortlisted will then be asked to provide a full paper.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

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