Dairies finding new “whey” of turning waste into profit

Dairies are continuously striving to maximise efficiencies and eliminate waste. For those plants producing cheese, there is a profitable method available for turning whey, a cheese by-product, into a significant revenue stream.

Historically, cheese processors would discard whey by transporting it off-site where to be dried by other companies or used as cattle feed, or in some cases drain it to an effluent treatment plant (ETP) or city municipality.

These options would come at significant transport or disposal costs, negatively impact the environment and operating margins.

With its technology portfolio and spray drying process expertise SPX Flow has helped many of these cheese producers upgrade their facilities to produce whey powder, whey protein isolate powder, non-caking whey powder, non-caking permeate powder and lactose powder.

Recently, the company was awarded contracts to design and construct new plants in Lithuania to produce whey powder and non-caking permeate powder and in France a high yield lactose powder plant. This lactose plant can provide a 20 per cent yield improvement compared to traditional processes. Other projects previously commissioned in South America, Scandinavia and Germany are running successfully and helping to establish new global standards in this area.

This lactose process requires specific knowledge of the heat and hold process to elongate evaporator runs as well as key technology used in the crystallisation process. This specialised process knowledge and equipment offered by the company brings advantages including higher product quality, whiter colour, free flowing and heat stable powders resulting in:

  • Consistently higher quality grade product that can be sold at higher prices
  • Ability to produce larger output from a single process plant
  • Very hygienic design compared to alternatives in the market
  • Significant operating margin improvements driven by yields

The company’s Drying and Liquid processing technologies provide  customers with reliable and optimised designs to help them achieve cost efficient solutions in today’s highly competitive dairy market.

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