Major Applications of Whey Permeate
The most common use of whey permeate is for the recovery of lactose by crystallization. Lactose is widely utilized in the food industry and in the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, lactose is a promising source of value-added derivatives that, amongst others, show prebiotic effects or serve as sugar replacers.
Beyond these applications, the economic value of whey permeate utilization could be maximized with the development of processing techniques able to isolate the bioactive compounds present in this stream. Whey permeate has been shown to contain bioactive oligosaccharides and peptides that could be used in the development of health promoting foods/supplements [11, 12].
Figure 3. Concept map of whey permeate utilization in this book chapter generated using CmapTools (Pensacola, FL).
Considering the increasing annual production of whey permeate, the development of new processing techniques to recover and produce the aforementioned compounds and the use of high throughput analytical techniques will likely enable the production of large quantities of high-value added compounds that will ameliorate both environmental problems and poor financial viability of dairy processors.