Whey generation is one of the main environmental problems cheese factories must address, as it is generated in large quantities per kilo of cheese produced. On the other hand, whey involves high organic load and moisture affecting its processing, as well as handling and transport for added-value uses. Nevertheless, whey consists of high nutritional value components such as proteins, sugars and salts, which make it very interesting as raw material source to produce foodstuff and animal feed as well as biofuel.
The cheese sector of the Basque Country Autonomous Community (known as CAPV in Spanish) is mainly made up of small or medium size cheese factories lacking the required infrastructures to recover, make the most of or successfully process the whey produced.
This, together with the geographical dispersion of factories and seasonal nature of some types of cheese hinder implementation of the appropriate management processes.
What do we provide?
The VALORLACT project aims to carry out a mutually agreed, validated Action Plan for the Integral Recovery and Exploitation of the Whey generated in the CAPV, through pilot tests and demonstration testing to establish the technical-economic and environmental feasibility of the alternatives covered by the project (human food, animal feed and biofuel).
The project, led by the Directorate of Innovation and Food Industries of the Basque Government, puts together the experience of the different partners:
AZTI-TECNALIA in human food; NEIKER-TECNALIA in animal feed; IBERLACT in concentration processes and BM INGENIERIA in biogas production, to obtain feasible proposals for further full-scale implementation in the CAPV.
The project aims at becoming the basis of the future Action Plan implementation, enabling the recovery and exploitation of large quantities of the whey generated in the CAPV territory, besides compiling a variety of solutions adapted to the different types of cheese factories and geographical areas where whey is found.
The success of this Action Plan relies on the support of the bodies and institutions involved in the start up (cheese factories, animal feed manufacturers, farmers, etc.). The Action Plan as well as the Road Map implementation will include technical, legal and economic matters required to uphold it and instruments made available by the Administration to support initiatives derived from the Plan.