Idaho Milk Products, Jerome, Idaho, said it is celebrating completion of a $30 million expansion at its Jerome facility. The project began in October 2018, and a ribbon-cutting event is planned for September 2019.

The expansion will increase processing capacity by 1 million pounds of milk per day, the company said. It also includes a new research and development (R&D) pilot plant.

“We are excited about the capabilities our pilot plant space will provide us to help our customers,” said Chenchaiah Marella, vice president of research and product development. “With state-of-the-art equipment, a product characterization lab and 1,500 square feet of processing area, we will offer our customers faster response time and a higher level of confidence in formulating successful, trending products.”

The list of equipment available for formulation work includes a Microthermics UHT/HTST b]lab, a membrane separation unit, an ice cream freezer, a small spray dryer, a plate and frame heat exchanger, a two-stage homogenizer, a fluidized bed dryer, canning and sterilization setup for retort processing and a V blender with intensifying bar, Idaho Milk Products said. The facility will have the ability to work on and test ready-to-drink beverages, yogurts, ready-to-mix beverages, ice cream, protein bars, retort processing and more.

“This pilot plant assures our customers that we are committed to using our expertise formulating with proteins to help them create the most successful products possible,” said Joe Henry, vice president of sales and marketing. “Not only do we offer award-winning dairy ingredients, we back them up with value-added service — a double win for our customers.”