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 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 behavior, simple and efficient approaches to its hydrolysis or its isolation at commercial-scale, and improved overall cost-effectiveness in the processing of whey solids.
The project partners, R&D company the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (Estonia) together with Smiltenes Piens (Latvia) as the third-largest cheese producer in Latvia working together in the project Whey valorization developed the method to produce high-quality glucose-galactose syrup from whey - from the lactose solution separated from the whey. The syrup production was optimized at the laboratory scale and thereafter efficiently implemented into industrial-scale syrup production.
Even more, the glucose-galactose syrup is a nice yellow honey-like syrup with sweet, slightly salty, and sour taste and improved so much that it can now be applied as an alternative to sucrose and glucose-fructose syrup for the production of various baked and confectionery goods, as well, it can be used to prepare ice-cream and in soft drinks production.
Also, the optimization of the production processes of different food products (yogurts, bread, biscuits, soft drinks, etc.) with the use of developed glucose-galactose syrup can take the know-how to the next level and significantly decrease the consumption of sucrose.
A recipe book “Glucose-galactose syrup applications in different food products” was compiled and that consists of recipes for eight types of cookies and bars, four analogs for pound cakes, five yeast or sour dough-based bread and buns, and finally semi-industrial scale ice cream preparation. The recipes are mainly given for 100-500 g or up to 2- 4 kg of final products, which can be easily converted to a larger scale.
Joint marketing activities were carried out, including the research of target markets and target enterprises. Project partners paid many visits to companies in Estonia and Latvia and performed different content marketing, including a recipe book, attendance at conferences e.g. “Terve loom ja tervislik toit”, and direct communication with bakeries and other potential or already existing clients. TFTAK plans to present the results at the FoodBalt, taking place in spring 2021, if no more significant delays occur.
Furthermore, employment increased by 4 persons in the partners' companies.
As an added value the companies got critical know-how and tacit knowledge, for future cooperation, and critical equipment for delivering high-quality results. TFTAK obtained nanofiltration equipment: bench-scale membrane filtration system (MMS SW18 System) and set of filters that allow the use of reverse osmosis, micro-, ultra- and nanofiltration. "Smiltenes Piens" obtained smaller-scale equipment, like a refractometer, portable pH measurer, a gas analyzer (plus small lab equipment and chemicals).
Project materials and product