ArNoCo’s Whey and Lactose Facility in Nordhackstedt, Germany


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ArNoCo is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Danish company Arla Foods Ingredients and German dairy co-operative Deutsches Milchkontor (DMK), which has opened a new whey and lactose production facility at Nordhackstedt, Germany, in August. Construction on the plant started in May 2012.

The new facility is located about 22km south of the Danish border, adjacent to DMK's existing cheese processing factory, which produces more than 60,000t a year of mozzarella and semi-hard cheeses such as gouda.

The new, state-of-the-art whey protein concentrate production facility at Nordhackstedt was built with an estimated investment of €50m (approximately $64.74m). It is expected to strengthen Arla Foods Ingredients' position as the world's leading supplier of high-quality whey protein and lactose ingredients.

Dairy processing history


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Arla Foods Ingredients' Whey Processing Plant Expansion, Denmark

Arla Foods Ingredients, an independent subsidiary of Danish-Swedish cooperative Arla Foods, has completed the expansion of its whey processing facility in Denmark.


DMK was formed by the merger of two German dairy companies, Humana Milchindustrie and NORDMILCH, in April 2011. The firm collaborated with Arla Foods Ingredients, a subsidiary of Swedish-Danish diary cooperative Arla Foods, and later formed a 50:50 JV named ArNoCo for producing whey protein concentrate (WPC) using ultrafiltration technology in Germany.

The whey protein concentrate is to be sold to Arla Foods Ingredients for further processing at its Danmark Protein plant in Nr. Vium, Denmark. The JV will also process whey permeate into lactose and the final product is to be sold by Arla Foods Ingredients.

The Danish-German whey processing partnership received approval from European competition authorities in May 2011. The JV partners invested a total amount of €44m (approximately $56.68m), including €35m for building the new whey processing facility at Nordhackstedt, with the remaining €9m in Arla Foods Ingredients' Danmark Protein plant in Nr. Vium, Denmark.

Details of the Nordhackstedt whey and lactose production plant

DMK will annually supply more than 700,000t of fresh whey from the neighbouring cheese processing facility to ArNoCo's Nordhackstedt whey processing facility, which is estimated to produce 15,500t of WPC retentate annually for further processing at Arla Foods Ingredients' Nr. Vium facility in Denmark.

"DMK will annually supply more than 700,000t of fresh whey…to ArNoCo's Nordhackstedt whey processing facility."

At Arla Foods Ingredients' Danmark Protein plant, the WPC retentate will be transformed into different functional and nutritional ingredients depending on market demand.

The Nordhackstedt facility is also equipped to annually produce 25,000t of lactose powder for use in high-quality dry blend lactose for infant formula marketed by Arla Foods Ingredients.

Contractors involved with the Nordhackstedt facility

"The Nordhackstedt facility is also equipped to annually produce 25,000t of lactose powder for use in high-quality dry blend lactose for infant formula."

ArNoCo awarded a contract valued at more than $30m to SPX Flow Technology, a subsidiary of the US-based SPX Corporation, for designing, manufacturing and installing a completely upgraded lactose processing system for the Nordhackstedt whey and lactose facility in May 2012.

The full line system is based on modern processing technology using sanitary membrane plants and advanced evaporation and drying equipments from its Anhydro and APV product lines for large-scale production of WPC. The system also involves new process technology for high-quality and high-yield lactose powder production.