The production of
dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt, leaves whey as a by-product. However,
it is a “residue” with excellent nutritional properties which is used
in full. It makes up almost 90% of milk and retains many of its nutrients:
minerals, vitamins, sugars such as lactose and, above all, soluble proteins.
There are many
products available on the market made from whey. Whey is one of the today’s
main sources of protein and one of the most nutritionally valuable.
Presentation as powder is one of the most widely used. Advertising of
nutritional supplements with high whey content for children and the elderly or
for athletes flood our daily life.
processing of whey powder
There are many
new industrial processes that allow the separation and utilization of all whey
components, one of the final products being whey powder.
How to get to
whey powder: initial processes
processes to which the whey is subjected are very important, as its richness in
nutrients makes it an ideal medium for the rapid development of bacteria.
Buffering, clarifying and refrigeration are some of the initial processes
applied to whey.
total solids is the step prior to drying that will ultimately produce whey
powder. The different concentration processes take from 6% to about 65% of
total solids. Then, at this percentage, the whey concentrate can be subjected
to drum drying or spray drying to finally obtain whey powder.
The whey powder
thus obtained reach almost 90% of protein concentration and has functional
characteristics of solubility, emulsification, foaming and gelling ready to be
used as a highly nutritious supplement.
For its further
use, the whey powder must have both a high bulk density and consistency in
particle size. This is where the process of sieving through high quality
industrial sieves comes into play. The efficiency of these sieves lies in their
ability to separate the particles and in the absence of residue accumulation on
The most modern
screening processes include equipment that incorporates vibration, as well as
much finer screens, without compromising process efficiency. The very small
size of the powder grains obtained can cause them to adhere to the screen mesh,
reducing process efficiency.
vibration motion: the ultimate in whey powder screening
of a vibratory motion “decollates” the screen, allowing it to remain clean
throughout the process. The vibration is produced by ultrasound, at a frequency
that breaks the surface tension of the screen, obtaining a product free of
frequency and increasingly finer meshes allow the separation of particles down
to 20 microns. Thus, the products obtained are of increasingly higher quality
in terms of the presence of unwanted particles.
The whey products
The market of
supplement protein powders will continue to experience a gradual increase over
the next few years. Only in the United States, sales are expected to reach
$6.57 billion in sport nutrition, reaching all the whey protein market $12.4
billion by 2021. Globally, the market for whey products is forecasted to reach
the $15.4 billion by 2024.
increasingly demanding this protein supplement is the vegetarian market, which
is growing in acceptance among younger groups of people. Although vegetarians
do not consume products or by-products of slaughter, begin to accept the need
to incorporate protein supplements into their diet.
growth of the market for whey products, specifically whey powder as a
nutritional supplement, has forced the food processing equipment manufacturing
industry to develop improvements and new technologies. Increasingly specific
processes and more precise sieving devices have appeared on the market, but the
last word has not yet been said.