Dairy Industry

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dairy Industry


the butter, cheese, and milk industry; the branch of the food industry that includes enterprises for the production of various dairy products from milk. The dairy industry in the USSR includes plants for producing butter, whole-milk products, canned and bottled milk, powdered milk, cheese, sheep’s milk cheese (brynza), ice cream, casein, and other milk products.

In prerevolutionary Russia milk processing was done principally as a cottage industry. In 1913, 129,000 tons of butter were manufactured, and total industrial milk processing was 2.3 million tons.

In the USSR the dairy industry is an important branch of industry. It was already highly developed in the 1930’s when the industrialization of the country and the collectivization of agriculture created the preconditions for organizing the government purchase and industrial processing of milk. During that period large milk combines equipped with the latest technology were constructed in Moscow, Leningrad, Sochi, Kislovodsk, Sverdlovsk, Kuibyshev, and other cities.

In 1972 the USSR had more than 2,300 butter, cheese, and milk industrial plants existing as independent business units, including 36 enterprises for canned milk products. Soviet dairy enterprises in the USSR processed about 60 percent of the country’s milk production (gross yield) in 1972. In all, there were 350,000 administrative and manufacturing personnel engaged in this activity in 1972, including 36,000 engineers and technicians. The dairy industry of the USSR produces about 250 kinds of products, including over 120 kinds of whole-milk products, about 100 types of cheese, and up to 20 types of preserved milk (powdered and concentrated). The production of many types of milk products has been mastered, including powdered products for infant feeding and protein milk. In 1972, 47 percent of milk and other whole-milk products were issued in packaged form. The total value of all butter, cheese, and milk products manufactured in 1972 was more than 11 billion rubles. In 1972 the dairy industry processed 19.9 million tons of whole-milk products (calculating the weight of milk in milk itself, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, and so on), 1,081,000 tons of butter, 483,000 tons of fat cheeses and sheep’s milk cheese, 1,169 million standard cans of condensed milk, 167,000 tons of powdered whole milk, powdered cream, and powdered mixtures for ice cream, 72,000 tons of powdered skim milk and powdered buttermilk, and 31,000 tons of whole-milk substitutes for feeding young animals. The industry processed over 48 million tons of milk in 1972 and about 52 million tons in 1973.

The USSR occupies first place in the world in gross volume of production of milk and butter and in commercial processing of milk (1972). Enterprises with the capacity to process 50, 100, and 200 tons of milk per day predominate; there are even larger ones (500 and 1,000 tons per day). The dairy industry in 1972 included 50 large, well-equipped, and highly mechanized milk-canning and milk-bottling combines, which produced over 1 billion cans of concentrated milk per year and 150,000 tons of powdered milk (whole and skimmed).

Modern-day dairy combines and plants process the raw material fully; manufacture a wide assortment of products; and are equipped with mechanized and automated lines for bottling, filling cartons, and using other types of packaging. They have pasteurizers and refrigerators, separators, evaporating devices, cheese-makers, and automatic machines for packaging products.

In 1972 the total yield of milk in other socialist countries was 1.7 million tons in Bulgaria, 5.3 million tons in Czechoslovakia, 7.5 million tons in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), 1.7 million tons in Hungary, 15.8 million tons in Poland, 4.3 million tons in Rumania, and 3 million tons in Yugoslavia. About 14,400 tons of butter were industrially produced in Bulgaria, 101,500 tons in Czechoslovakia, 249,000 tons in the GDR, 17,800 tons in Hungary, 162,000 tons in Poland, and 32,500 tons in Rumania.

The total production of milk in selected capitalist countries in 1972 was 54.6 million tons in the USA, 28.7 million tons in France (1971), 21.4 million tons in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), 14.1 million tons in Great Britain, 10 million tons in Italy, 8.9 million tons in Holland, and 4.8 million tons in Denmark. The industrial production of butter in 1972 was 542,000 tons in France, 503,000 tons in the USA, 471,000 tons in the FRG (1971), 163,000 tons in Holland, 122,000 tons in Denmark (1971), 95,000 tons in Great Britain, and 45,000 tons in Sweden. Cheese-making is developed in France, the USA, the FRG, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, and a number of other countries.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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