VALORLACT: Comprehensive use of the whey generated by the dairy industry in the Basque Country.
VALORLACT aims at designing and validating an Action Plan enabling integral recovery and exploitation of the whey generated in cheese factories through demonstrations of concentration, drying and/or anaerobic digestion technologies to enable the use of whey for both animal feed and human food as well as energy and agronomic purposes.
The desired outcomes are:
- btaining an agreed validated process for the valorisation of the whey generated in the Basque Country which can be transferred to other European countries.
- Validated product prototypes for human food and animal feed and biogas.
Sectors involved in the project
- Administrations: Their role in the project is to provide details of the sectors involved, facilitating information about other existing initiatives and giving advice on legal matters. The Action Plan will also be validated.
- Cheese factories: Their contribution to the project is based on the collection of data from the sector and co-operation in sampling and demonstration test. They will also be involved in the Action Plan validation.
- Animal feed manufacturers: Their involvement in the project is to provide professional experience regarding the viability of the new fodder obtained, facilitating market details and quality requirements of their raw materials.
- Farmers: Their contribution to the project is to communicate animal feed acceptance requirements, co-operating in direct animal feed tests and providing sector data and required infrastructure to implement the proposed solutions.
- Food companies: Their contribution to the project is to provide ideas regarding ingredients and products of interests to be carried out, facilitating quality and acceptance requirements of the market they define for their products.
- Logistic companies: They provide experience in the management of haulage fleets and economic variables that must be taken into account for the activity to be sustained.
- Waste managers: Their contribution to the project is to provide experience on the viability of management processes, providing data regarding the operation parameters of plants and facilitating the requirements for waste management.
The VALORLACT project represents an opportunity for cheese factories to improve competition and current management of the whey generated. We find it extremely interesting to take part in the tasks programmed and in our case we have made our facilities available for pilot tests, hoping that results and outcomes will be useful not only for our specific case but also for all cheese factories in the Basque Country. Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity for cheese factories to co-operate and work together to solve common problems.
Regarding management of whey from cheese factories, the issues in Cantabria are similar to the Basque Country’s where small cheese factories cover a wide distribution area in the region but are unable to individually meet whey processing. The LIFE ENV/ES/000639 project seems very interesting because it offers some technical alternatives considered in Cantabria in recent years to solve the problem as well as an economic feasibility research to act as the cornerstone to articulate the absence of a solution.
The CIFA intends to keep in contact with the research team to collect information regarding project progress, and is open to lines of any cooperation.