What is NPE? Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) are industrial grade surfactants. NPEs are commonly used in the dairy industry, primarily in iodine teat dip formulations, to complex the iodine raw material and help suspend it in the dip.
Why is NPE a concern?
NPEs are linked to issues which include biodegradation and aquatic toxicity. NPEs are also rough on skin, which is why DeLaval decided to remove them from our product offerings.
Internationally, China has instituted a “zero-tolerance” ban on NPEs in imported milk so any processor that exports, or plans to do so, must go NPE-Free. This is because they need to maintain the flexibility to ship, on relatively short notice, to China. China continues to remain an attractive market to processors as imported milk commands premium pricing.
Although its use is not presently restricted in the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated an action plan to review and eventually restrict the use of NPEs.