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Chemical Engineering Students Accelerate Kefir Production by 75%

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Submit by prasetyaFT on July 12, 2019 | Comment(s) : 0 | View : 209

The development of the cow's dairy products industry in Batu City is quite potent in terms of the geographical situation of the city which is known for its various tourist destinations. Therefore, there are many milk producers in Batu City with various processed products, including kefir.

Kefir itself is the result of fermented milk with a kefir granule (kefir grains) which consists of complex symbiotic relationships between various bacteria, yeast, and casein. Kefir can be separated again into a thick curd and whey which is liquid and runny. Curd can be used as a beauty and cosmetic mask, while whey can be consumed because it contains various benefits for human health.

However, in the separation of curd and whey, various Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that produce kefir still use conventional methods with ordinary filter cloth, so that it takes a long time to 24 hours and the product is easily contaminated with the purity that is still low. Because it was considered unprofitable, there was one of the SMEs in Batu City who was forced to temporarily stop the production process from the kefir.

Of these problems, five students from the Chemical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Engineering Universitas Brawijaya made an innovation technology to separate the curd and whey components from dairy kefir products. The group consisted of Riski Agung (Chemical Engineering '16), Reyhan Ammar (Chemical Engineering '16), Losendra Primamas (Chemical Engineering '16), Bramantya (Chemical Engineering '16), and Muhammad Rifaldi (Chemical Engineering '17).

This is a separation device by utilizing electrodialysis membrane technology build under the guidance of Ir. Bambang Poerwadi, M.S. Electrodialysis membrane technology was chosen because it can accelerate the process of separating curd and whey in a short time and the separation will be more selective because it uses a selective ion membrane with a micropore size.

"Through this innovation, we offer a solution for the kefir processing industry so that the process of separating curd and whey components can take place more quickly and efficiently. Through the electrodialysis mechanism, whey molecules can be pushed to diffuse through the membrane because of the electricity supplied to the electrodes in our device. Thus if compared to conventional methods, the results obtained will be better in terms of time, quality, and quantity of products produced," said Riski Agung as the team leader.

The application of technology funded by Kemenristekdikti in the Student Creativity Program (PKM) does require a partner so that this innovation can be directly applied to overcome the problems with the partners concerned.

"Of course our biggest hope is to be able to overcome the problems that are currently experienced by our partners so that the productivity and quality of their kefir products can increase and can increase their profits. But going forward, it does not rule out the possibility that the tools we make can be used for various other SMEs and their use can be expanded, not only limited to the separation of curd and whey kefir," he added.



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