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Enhanced protein fractionation from protein sources for their use in special food applications

Objective

Whey is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and is considered a promising raw material for various commercial applications due to its high-value components (e.g. proteins) and its large availability. Around 81 million tons of liquid whey was produced by the approximately 150,000 European cheesemakers in EU-27 in 2011. However, according to the European Whey Products Association (EWPA), only 40% of the liquid whey in Europe is being processed for its utilization in food and human nutrition or in feed applications, while the rest is still being dumped into municipal sewages, mainly by SME dairies. As a liquid waste, whey treatment generates unavoidable costs of around €0.04 per liter. Hence, there is an urgent need to tackle this environmental problem and valorise whey by proposing innovative, energy efficient technologies, with low operational costs and high industrial yields that are able to ensure the economic viability of whey processing for European dairy SMEs.
In this context, our pan-European partnership of SMEs and RTDs from 7 Member States has identified the potential of a highly efficient, selective, gentle and economically attractive electro-membrane filtration (EMF) technology to enhance separation and concentration of proteins and protein peptides from whey. The efficient recovery of functional protein fractions through EMF technology will provide an important source of high-value natural food emulsifiers and protein supplements for various food formulations and nutritional applications, while providing an economic alternative to whey disposal and reducing the environmental impact of European SME dairies.
The EMF technology enhances the separation of molecules with similar weight but different charge and – compared to ultrafiltration – significantly increases filtration yields and reduces cleaning efforts, waste water and membrane replacement costs.
Impact: the proposed technology will provide a cost-effective method to separate protein fractions from whey, which will in the end increase the competitiveness of European SME cheesemakers. We estimate that whey sales of €20.98 million can be achieved within 6.5 years of project completion. By using Whey2Food technology, SME cheesemakers will significantly increase their income and positively contribute to reduce environmental impact.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management/waste water
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins
  • /agricultural sciences/animal and dairy science/dairy
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/nutrition

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2013
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

BSG-SME - Research for SMEs

Coordinator

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 29 990
Administrative Contact
Christoph Schulte (Mr.)

Participants (10)

MAGNETO SPECIAL ANODES BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 313 200
Address
Calandstraat 109
3125BA Schiedam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Petrus Jfm Hack (Mr.)
C. VAN 'T RIET DAIRY TECHNOLOGY BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 257 063
Address
Dorpstraat 25
2445 AJ Aarlanderveen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Piet Verburg (Mr.)
MALTHE WINJE AUTOMASJON AS
Norway
EU contribution
€ 364 378
Address
Haukeliveien 48
1410 Kolbotn
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Tom Erik Larsen (Mr.)
INTERNATIONAL FOOD NETWORK
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 190 040
Address
Science And Technology Centre
RG6 6BZ Reading
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Nicholas Henson (Mr.)
ROVITA GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 61 315
Address
Muehldorfer Strasse 10
84549 Engelsberg Ot Wiesmuhl
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Mehran Rose (Mr.)
MEMBRAIN SRO
Czechia
EU contribution
€ 136 181
Address
Pod Vinici 87
471 27 Straz Pod Ralskem
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Hana Kudrnová (Ms.)
UNIVERSITAET HOHENHEIM
Germany
Address
Schloss Hohenheim
70599 Stuttgart
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Stephan Dabbert (Prof.)
VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK N.V.
Belgium
Address
Boeretang 200
2400 Mol
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Inge Genné (Dr.)
WILLEMINA CHRISTINA VOGEL
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 12 712
Address
Bevrijdingsstraat 21 A
6701 AA Wageningen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Willemina Christina Vogel (Ms.)
SCHWARZWALDMILCH GMBH FREIBURG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 43 121
Address
Haslacherstrasse 12
79115 Freiburg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Michael Rauber (Mr.)