The latest issue of the FAIRCHAIN newsletter provides a general progress update more than halfway into the project and reports on exciting developments from the French and Swiss case studies. You will also find information about training opportunities and dissemination activities.
The second implementation workshop took place yesterday for the French case study. The concept of innovative fermented-whey-based drinks selected by consumers was presented, together with the obstacles towards their development and possible solutions .
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. With the increased demand of dairy products, especially Greek yogurt, the yields of acidic whey increased and researchers are looking for ways to valorise it.
The FAIRCHAIN French case study is valorizing whey by developing whey-based drinks.
Experts in consumer science and marketing in the food sector discussed the strategy and actions needed to define the concept and the story of the new-whey based drink developed in the project.
By: Caroline Pénicaud, INRAE and Geneviève Gésan-Guiziou
The French case study aims to develop and distribute an innovative drink based on the use of whey, a coproduct of cheese dairies. Whey is currently valorized into whey or protein concentrates when produced in large volumes. However at small scale, its valorisation is limited and whey may go to wastewater treatment (depending on the whey acidity and volume produced).
The partners of the Case Study in France (Sodiaal, Laboratoires Standa, Actia, Petrel, and INRAE) start to assess the baseline of the Case Study in Eastern France.
The aim of the environmental assessment, performed by INRAE, was to provide a basis for comparing the environmental performance of the developed innovation with the current situation. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is recognized to be the method of choice when measuring environmental impacts (climate change, resource depletion, etc. ) of a product, process, or service. The LCA analysis done here used a cradle-to-grave approach, i.e. from raw milk production to cheese products and current whey valorization.
Results show that milk production and whey drying are the main hotspots in the environmental impact and that transport of whey from cheese dairies to valorization sites is not negligible. Thus, to be an environmentally friendly innovative solution, the whey drink should generate less environmental impact than whey drying and be produced as close as possible to the cheese dairy. LCA will be used to compare the new value chain to the current one and then to quantify environmental benefits.
More than 30 participants representing milk, fruit and vegetable producers, processors, distributors, consumers and other stakeholders from eastern France discussed the opportunities and difficulties in using one of the major co-products of small and medium-sized cheese factories, whey. They collectively identified the challenges to be addressed to ensure the development of new fermented drinks based on whey with zero-waste distribution. More information about the French case study can be found on the dedicated page.