Author(s): Yang ST, Silva EM
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Abstract The cheese industry produces large amounts of lactose in the form of cheese whey and whey permeate, generating approximately 27 million tonnes/yr in the US alone. Many uses have been found for whey and lactose, including uses in infant formula; bakery, dairy, and confectionery products; animal feed; and feedstocks for lactose derivatives and several industrial fermentations. Lactose use in food products, however, is somewhat limited because of its low solubility and indigestibility in many individuals. For this reason, lactose is often hydrolyzed before use. Still, demand is insufficient to use all available whey lactose. The result is a low market value for lactose; almost half of the whey produced each year remains unused and is a significant waste disposal problem. Several approaches are possible for transforming lactose into value-added products. For example, galactooligosaccharides can be produce through enzymatic treatments of lactose and may be used as a probiotic food ingredient. Organic acids or xanthan gum may be produced via whey fermentation, and the fermented whey product can be used as a food ingredient with special functionality. This paper reviews the physical characteristics, production techniques, and current uses of lactose, whey, and lactose derivatives. Also examined are novel fermentation and separation technologies developed in our laboratory for the production of lactate, propionate, acetate, and xanthan gum from whey.
This article was published in J Dairy Sci
and referenced in Journal of Probiotics & Health