Abstract Hydrophilic nano-porous polyethersulfone ultrafiltration membranes were developed for milk concentration. The membranes were prepared from new dope solution containing polyethersulfone (PES)/polyvinylpirrolidone (PVP)/polyethyleneglycole (PEG)/cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP)/acrylic acid/Triton X-100 using phase inversion induced by immersion precipitation technique. This casting solution leads to formation of new hydrophilic membranes. The morphological studies were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). In addition, the hydrophilicity and performance of membranes were examined by contact angel measurements and cross-flow filtration (pure water flux, milk water permeation, protein rejection and antifouling measurements). The contact angle measurements indicate that a surface with superior hydrophilicity was obtained for PES membranes. Two concentrations of PES (16 and 14.4 wt.%) and two different non-solvents (pure water and mixtures of water and IPA) were used for preparation of membranes. The morphological studies showed that the higher concentration of PES and the presence of IPA in the gelation media results in formation of a membrane with a dense top and sub-layer with small pores on the surface. The pure water flux of membranes was decreased when higher polymer concentration and mixtures of water and IPA were employed for membrane formation. On the other hand, the milk water permeation and protein rejection were increased using mixtures of water and IPA as non-solvent. Furthermore, the fouling analysis of the membranes demonstrated that the membrane surface with fewer tendencies for fouling was obtained.