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Industrial scale recovery of high-grade proteins from food-processing by-products

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Recover4Benefit (Industrial scale recovery of high-grade proteins from food-processing by-products)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-01-31

Different processing industries produce production side streams which were in the past and still are producing environmentally burdening wastewater and solid wastes. With the newly developed process equipment and tools as well as with the new insights into the characteristics and activity of organic substances, numerous components of the processing side-streams can be extracted, reused and valorised into added-value products. However, a lot of approaches need technology scale-up tests and market development activities. One such potential shows whey and its derivates produced during cheese production. In the project, we evaluated the technical, commercial and financial feasibility of the technological approach toward complete whey utilisation by selective separation of individual whey proteins and the utilisation of residues for the production of protein-rich supplement for animal feed and the production of selected lactic acid bacteria with their bioactive metabolites.
The results of the tests of the technological process and market research have confirmed that the innovative approach of selective separation of individual whey proteins gives high purity and market value of isolates, which can be further upgraded to end products. The method of isolation of whey proteins permits the full continued use of whey as a culture medium for beneficial microorganisms and their metabolites.
Whey contains 94% of water, but mainly because of its lactose content, its release into the environment presents a severe environmental burden (1L of whey has the same BOD (biological oxygen demand) as it has the outflow of 1PE (population equivalent) per day, 35-55gO2/L). Proposed whey reuse protects the environment, eliminates the cost of wastewater treatment, utilises valuable whey products such as proteins and energy stored in lactose and produces products with significantly higher market added value.
Selecive extraction of whey proteins