Dairy plant Vaquería Tres Monjitas announced a $7.5 million investment in its operations to launch a new fresh milk product that will have a shelf life of more than 30 days.
In doing so, it will become the first dairy producer in the world to use cutting-edge technology to extend the life of a highly-perishable product.
Starting in May, the company will introduce the dairy product in whole fresh milk varieties, 2% reduced-fat, 1% low-fat and fat free, in 59-oz. carton packs.
The lactose-free variety includes whole milk, 2% reduced-fat, 1% low-fat, and fat-free in 48-ounce packages, Vaquería Tres Monjitas representatives said.
The company’s investment included the acquisition of exclusive rights for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands of the Millisecond Technology to develop the product line that also includes specialized fortified milk with 67% more calcium than non-fat whole milk, in addition to 2% reduced-fat chocolate milk in 32-ounce packages.
Through the MST process — which occurs prior to the regular fresh milk pasteurization process — the milk undergoes a process of sudden pressure changes in a very short time, at lower temperatures than those used in the pasteurization process, the dairy producers said.
This allows the flavor of fresh milk and all its nutrients to be maintained, while eliminating all bacteria and microorganisms that affect its durability.
“For 101 years, Tres Monjitas has been an integral part of the local dairy industry and Puerto Rican families, by producing and distributing dairy products of the highest quality,” said Jaime Fonalledas, president of Vaquería Tres Monjitas.
“That same quality, recognized by our corporate customers and consumers, we now add the factor of greater durability, to provide a fresh milk product superior to that we know now,” he said, adding the company is starting “the celebration of our second centenary, with the most important innovation in the industry since they awarded the Grade A classification to milk produced in Puerto Rico.”
MST is a technology developed by the group of engineers from JCS Systems in coordination with the Integrated Food Manufacturing Center of Purdue University’s Food Science Department.
The technology has been in testing and validation for more than 15 years and Puerto Rico has now become the first market in the world to use it commercially, Vaquería Tres Monjitas officials said.
The implementation of MST technology will “transform Puerto Rico’s the dairy industry, which from now on will produce traditionally imported products,” executives said.
“This will allow us to grow the market, by selling in the USVI, continue to innovate with new fresh milk products and close the door to the import of this product since the technology is exclusive to Tres Monjitas,” said Jaime Luis Fonalledas, executive vice president of Tres Monjitas.
Meanwhile, the company’s General Manager, Orlando González-Núñez, said “this launch is the result of teamwork during more than 18 months in which we were backed by not only with the support of our more than 500 employees, but also from suppliers and business partners who have contributed their knowledge and experience to make possible the launch of this product in Puerto Rico before any other market.