Our Plant


Located in Detroit, Michigan, VernDale is in an excellent location for dairy processing. We have full access to City of Detroit utilities, water supply and sewage. At the same time, we are located close to the 2 largest milk producing counties in Michigan, assuring us an ample supply of high-quality farm fresh milk. We now have 2 plants both located in Detroit, Michigan that provide a second source of supply for this unique milk product.

Milk Receiving

Every tank of raw milk arriving at VernDale must pass all our Quality Control checks before it is received into the plant. From there, a number of processing steps are involved that impact the finished product, including: standardization, concentration, heat pretreatment, drying and packaging. The interrelationships between processing parameters and properties of milk powders can contribute to variability in functional properties of the milk powder. By intentionally manipulating these operations we can produce products with unique functional properties.

Cold Milk Separation

Using a hermetically sealed separator where the entire separator bowl is filled with milk, and there is no air in the separator. While cold milk separation has a slower throughput than hot milk separators, some processors say it results in better-tasting fresh milk products. One of the stickiest problems in milk separation is the disruption of fat globules, which can cause increased sensitivity to oxidation and hydrolysis. Cold milk separation will allow for a gentler separation of milk.

Concentration of Milk Solids Using Reverse Osmosis Technology

Concentration using high pressure filtration is not a new technology; however, it is not the typical way milk processers concentrate milk prior to drying. Most plants use traditional evaporators. Reverse osmosis, allows for less heat damage or denatured protein than found in evaporated milk. An additional advantage is that our reverse osmosis is a cold concentration technique. Cold milk concentration using RO technology uses less energy than traditional evaporators.

Heat Treatment

The fundamental propose of heat treatment is for pasteurization of the fluid milk. An additional function of the heat treatment is to produce milk with differing amounts of denatured whey proteins. However, other changes occur during this heat treatment, including casein-whey protein interactions, and interactions of milk components with lactose. It is at this point that VernDale's many years of experience have helped develop a heat treatment process that makes our product different than other milk powders. Our goal is to enhance the milk flavor that gives VernDale drum dried milk a truly unique flavor profile not found in other high free fat milk alternatives.

Drum Drying

This is where the magic really happens. A drum dryer, is not a high volume piece of equipment. If you want to produce a lot of milk into powder fast then you would use a spray dryer. If you want a milk powder that has character and functionality, you should chose drum dried milk powder. Because of the high interest by confectionery manufacturers for this caramelized or toffee flavor profile, attempts have been made over the years by spray dryer manufacturers to imitate the caramelized flavor and the free fat content found naturally in roller milk powder.


Milk powder is conveyed to the packaging equipment where quality and food safety is maintained by vertical drop metal detectors, sifting screens, and auto samplers. Care is taken in the conveying process to keep particle size reduction to a minimum to maintain a low density high free fat powder.