Our products eliminate acid whey by-product, Arla claims

Wednesday, 05 June, 2013

Arla Foods Ingredients has responded to the ‘acid whey’ controversy, claiming its processes do not produce the by-product.

“The controversy currently raging over the generation of ‘acid whey’ in Greek yoghurt production - and the impact it can have on the environment - highlights that the inefficiency of traditional Greek yoghurt-making techniques is unsustainable both from an ecological and a commercial point of view,” said Torben Jensen, Application Manager at Arla Foods Ingredients.

Jensen said Arla’s Nutrilac protein solution, combined with its ‘Quick’ process, addresses the issue of acid whey by-product by enabling yoghurt manufacturers to produce Greek and Greek-style yoghurt on their existing plant using close to 100% of the milk used in the manufacturing process. The ‘Quick’ process eliminates the need for whey separation, which is usually part of traditional Greek yoghurt making.

The company claims these products and processes do not affect quality or taste.

The ‘acid whey’ controversy was sparked by an article on the site modernfarmer.com which claimed that “whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers” and killing aquatic life.

According to the article, scientists are frantically trying to find uses for the by-product in the wake of dramatically increased demand for Greek yoghurt. One possibility is using it as an infant formula ingredient; however, more research needs to be conducted to determine whether this is feasible.

Similarly, extracting the lactose is another possibility. Edible-grade lactose extracted from whey can be used in icing and as a browning agent in bread. Some farmers have had success converting lactose into methane and using it to generate electricity.

“If we can figure out how to handle acid whey, we’ll become a hero,” a producer was quoted as saying on the modernfarmer.com website. 

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