The lead partner of the project is Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK) - an R&D company based on extensive use of modern analytical methods, systems biology and synthetic biology principles, aiming at development and introduction of innovative food and fermentation technologies. It combines fundamental sciences and applied research with product development. Smiltenes Piens (SP) is the third largest cheese producer in Latvia in terms of volume and the sixth largest ni terms of milk processing company. The company cooperates with more than 150 suppliers of high-quality Latvian milk, and exports to Russia, Estonia, Germany, Israel and USA. With traditions and skills that have been developed and improved for more than a century, the company has become one of the leaders of the milk processing industry in Latvia. The brand “Smiltenes piens” is recognized and appreciated both by people in Latvia and by gourmands abroad.
Whey (derived from cheese and casein production) is one of the most suitable by-products for food production. Almost without exception, whey-processing technologies result in a waste by-product; usually a lactose and mineral-rich permeate in large volumes. Science and technology advances, particularly over the past 10 years, have led to a greater understanding of lactose behaviour, simple and efficient approaches to its hydrolysis or its isolation at commercial-scale, and improved overall cost effectiveness in the processing of whey solids. No whey utilisation strategy will succeed without suitable attention being paid to lactose, as this component represents >75% of whey solids (Smithers, 2008).
The objective of the project is the development of the production technology of syrup from lactose solution separated from whey. To perform the objective of the project a hydrolyzation of lactose into galactose and glucose syrup can be used. This product will be applied for production of various baked and confectionery goods as well be used for soft drinks production. The enzymatic hydrolysis of lactose is technologically important and applies to milk and dairy products, as well as to whey and whey permeate. The biological conversion of lactose content into lactic acid using appropriate species of Lactobacillus has the double advantage of alleviating a pollution problem and at the same time, producing a marketable product (Polat, 2009).