Separator As Milk Purifier

I have a neighbor who contends that a cream separator purifies the milk

that passes through it. I say that it does not purify the milk. I agree

that it does take out some of the heavy particles of dirt and filth, but

that it cannot take out what is already in solution with the milk.

The purification naturally cannot be very great, and if milk is produced

in unsanitary fashion, running through the separator will do little, if

any, good. Nevertheless, the separator does remove more than just the

solid particles of dirt. The purifying comes by leaving behind the

separator slime, so called, the slimy material left behind after a good

deal of milk has been run through. In fact, some creameries separate

milk, only to mix milk and cream again, largely for the purpose of

removing the impurities found in the slime. In this slime are not only

the impurities that fall into the milk, but also some of the fibrous

matter that is part of the milk, and this gathers, being pulled out by

gravity as are the fat particles, it seems to gather with it a few more

bacteria than remain in the milk itself. Material in real solution, as

sugar is in solution in water, naturally is practically unaffected by

separation. You are, therefore, right to the extent that you cannot

produce unsanitary milk and clean it with the separator, but your

neighbor is right to the extent that the separator does remove some

impurities and is used just for that purpose. There is also in the dairy

trade a centrifugal milk clarifier which is constructed in somewhat

similar manner to a cream separator, but acts differently on the milk in

not interfering with cream rising by gravity when separated cream and

milk are mixed after cleaning.

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