During the first months of the year, work has been undertaken to adjust each prototype formula to achieve the desired quality and organoleptic properties in each case. Moreover, several formula adjustments were implemented on the one hand to enable maximum whey content usage, while minimising processing needs on the other, for transfer to cheese farms or small food industries in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, with the minimum possible investment required.
- Sliceable dairy product (processed cheese bar type): searching for a texture which is not too soft to enable slicing, handling and improve flavour and aroma. Work primarily focused on whey concentrate by RO from mixed cheese.
- Cheese flavour sauce: work was carried out to prevent phase separation and improve texture and aroma, while simplifying the thermal processing applied. Concentrates from sheep and mixed whey produced by RO without prior degreasing were used.
- Dairy drink with fruit juice: final composition was defined to combine salty whey flavours with the sweet taste of fruit juices. A prior process of curd fine and fat removal was carried out to prevent undesired flavours and deposit generation or eliminate the presence of solid particles in the product. Scaling has also started for wider tasting. RO and UF concentrates from sheep, cow and mixed milk were used both in liquid and powder form.
- Soluble powder product: the most welcomed flavours in tasting sessions were selected – chocolate and coffee in second place. Scaling has also started for wider tasting. Whole dairy whey powder and WPC35 protein concentrates were used.
As all prototypes have a high whey content (from 21% in powder to 70% in sauce and 45-50% in drink and cheese) recovery of this by-product for further use is considered high and in line with the objectives set in the project.
Tests to estimate the useful life of products, such as drinks or cheese sauce, were conducted and will be repeated once product amounts planned in the scaling phase are achieved.