Whey to go: upcycling dairy waste into a beverage

Thursday, 04 April, 2024

Whey to go: upcycling dairy waste into a beverage

In Latin America, Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a fermented beverage concept that demonstrates how dairies can reduce waste and increase yield by upcycling whey. Raw material waste can be a problem for dairies. After processing, many are left with large whey side streams, which can cause environmental damage if discharged with wastewater.

This new fermented beverage concept is based on upcycled acid or sweet whey. It also contains Nutrilac whey proteins, which provide a light texture and refreshing taste, as well as protein content as high as 8%, so that a 200 mL bottle would contain 16 g of protein.

Nutrilac is designed to provide higher heat stability to standard milk protein concentrate or whey protein concentrate. This allows for the development of creamy low-viscosity beverages without sedimentation, sandiness or dry mouthfeel. Low in fat and containing no added sugar, the beverage can be produced on standard yoghurt lines with minimal investment.

Ignacio Estevez, Application Manager, South America at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Consumers hate the idea of waste, especially if it’s environmentally harmful. Reflecting this, we’re starting to see more and more products that make use of upcycled ingredients and communicate it on their packaging. Getting value out of whey is a significant challenge in dairy production but, as this concept demonstrates, it can be used to create on-trend new products that appeal to both sustainability-conscious and protein-focused consumers. The fact that it can be produced easily and with minimal investment provides an additional incentive to innovate.”

Image credit: iStock.com/Albert_Karimov

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