In order to demonstrate the feasibility of the collection proposal, a demonstration test was carried out at the end of July 2015, in 7 cheese factories of the Basque Region Autonomous Community. To do this, 2 collection routes were planned (Bizkaia-Araba and Gipuzkoa-Araba) in an isothermal tanker truck, finally unloading the whey at the Aldanondo de Salvatierra cheese factory.
A refrigerator tank was installed at each cheese factory for storing the milk whey in sanitary conditions for up to 24 hours, with collection taking place on alternate days for 6 days.
Collection of whey in some of the cheese factories participating in the demonstration
The collected milk whey was then processed at the Aldanondo facilities by means of RO/UF concentration, to be used for feeding or directly sent to a biogas plant.
Tanker en route and unloaded at Aldanondo
The main results of the collection were:
– During transport, the increase in temperature was lower than 2 ºC, the pH level was lower than 0.3 and the Brix degrees remained almost constant.
Whey checks carried out before collection
– The joint collection of milk and whey does not seem to present any major problems as both products can be collected in separate tanks within the same collection cistern, with differentiated pipes and valves, which prevents any cross-contamination.
Therefore, from the collection demonstration performed we can conclude that the whey could be collected hygienically over planned routes every 2 days, as long as it is maintained in refrigerated conditions by the cheese factories and collection and processing are carried out in less than 48 hours.
We thank you all for your cooperation in this whey collection demonstration at the following cheese factories:
- Vascolac (Zamudio, Bizkaia)
- Zabaleta (Munain, Araba)
- Buruaga (Etxabarri-Ibiña, Araba)
- Esnetik (Ugao, Bizkaia)
- Goine (Asteasu, Gipuzkoa)
- Oihan Txiki (Orexa, Gipuzkoa)
- Mahala (Leaburu, Gipuzkoa)
- Gomiztegi (Oñati, Gipuzkoa)
- Aldanondo (Agurain, Araba)