Production of innovative dairy drinks based on co-products of cheese manufacturing

Current situation requiring improvements

  • Whey, a by-product of cheese production, is not sufficiently exploited.
  • Small producers need to generate revenue from whey. However, whey collection from their farms is difficult as they are often isolated.
  • Small producers cannot afford the installation of bottling lines needed to produce whey-based drinks.

Main activities in FAIRCHAIN

  • Develop and produce healthy whey-based  drinks via fermentation process adapted to small and mid-size dairy processors

  • Bring a zero-waste aspect to the distribution of room temperature liquid food products

Progress to date

  • 12 detailed ideas of fermented whey-based drinks were identified based on market and qualitative consumer studies. Among them, two concepts of innovative drinks that best suit consumers have been chosen and validated by stakeholders: whey kefir and whey fuit juice.
  • Innovative whey-based drinks have been developed to meet stakeholder expectations. Fermentation assays were carried out on acid and sweet wheys mixed with fruit and vegetable juices or herbs to fit the two selected drink concepts. Some of the best prototypes were tasted and validated by partners.
  • The partners are currently working on the definition of the equipment and process conditions, initially defined at lab scale, to semi-industrial scale. The drinks will be tested in autumn 2023 through three consumer studies: test of recipes and distribution concept, experimental economic study, study in « real life » situation.
  • The ‘zero-waste’ distribution mode with reusable bottles was identified as the best option especially when considering the legislation framework. Currently, a life cycle assessment calculator is being developed to assess and select different options of reusable bottle distribution and compare them with single-use bottle.
    Focus on whey

    Focus on whey

    Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is responsible for the color of whey. Whey is the serum phase of milk, or the liquid remaining after removal of fat and casein, which contains mostly soluble components, including lactose, soluble salts, and globular proteins, among others....