With the increasing production of milk and traditional dairy products, competition in the dairy market is also increasing. Therefore, to enhance the competitiveness of dairies, continuous investments in modernization of production are necessary, with the aim of offering new products and optimising costs in the area of wastewater treatment and energy consumption.
Whey offers great potential in this field as it represents a significant source of highly searched proteins in the market of dietary supplements, a substrate for the cultivation of dairy starter cultures, a potential source of renewable energy, etc.
In addition to total dry whey proteins used as food supplements increasing protein nutrition value, the importance of individual whey proteins has recently been highlighted. These include β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, glycomacropeptide, lactoperoxidase, and lactoferrin. The importance of the latter is much greater, due to their regulatory and physiological activity in the body.
In the light of the current EU goals for establishing a circular economy and clean technologies, we will demonstrate in the project LIFE for Acid Whey several innovative approaches for further whey processing. The primary focus will be on optimising and demonstrating the separation process of individual whey proteins (e.g., lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, immunoglobulin) using monolithic chromatography. In pilot experiments and cooperation with external partners, we will test other possibilities of beneficial use of acid whey, such as the production of dairy starter cultures, the production of vitamins, the separation of residual lactose, lactate and whey proteins, and the production of energy.
After the end of the four-year LIFE for Acid Whey project, we expect the following results:
The LIFE for Acid Whey project will include the following activities:
1. Preparatory activities
2. Activities on a test pilot system for the separation of individual whey proteins
3. Design and construction of a demonstration plant
4. Logistics of whey management
5. Operation and monitoring of the demonstration plant
6. Whey management after protein separation
7. Pre-commercialization activities
8. Monitoring and measurement of project performance indicators and life cycle analysis
9. Dissemination of the project