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Whey and Whey Products

  • Patrick F. Fox
  • Timothy P. Guinee
  • Timothy M. Cogan
  • Paul L. H. McSweeney
Chapter

Summary

The liquid remaining after removal of the fat and casein from milk by isoelectric or rennet-induced coagulation of the casein is called whey. The whey contains about 90 % of the water of milk, ~98 % of the lactose, ~25 % of the protein and ~50 % of the inorganic salts. Traditionally, whey was an essentially worthless by-product of the cheese industry, to be disposed of as cheaply as possible, e.g., as animal feed. However, lactose and the whey proteins have interesting and unique properties. Advances in protein isolation technology have made it possible to isolate and fractionate the whey proteins in undenatured form. Although of minor importance compared with sucrose, lactose has some important applications, especially in the production of infant formulae; in addition, it can be converted to a number of important derivatives. Human milk contains considerable quantities of unique oligosaccharides (OSs) which are believed to be significant for the development of the neonate. Bovine milk contains only low concentrations of OSs but these can be purified and concentrated from whey and there is considerable interest in developing commercially-viable processes.

The processing of whey into various products is described in this chapter.

Keywords

Whey powders Lactose Lactose derivatives Whey proteins Whey cheese 

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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick F. Fox
    • 1
  • Timothy P. Guinee
    • 2
  • Timothy M. Cogan
    • 2
  • Paul L. H. McSweeney
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity CollegeCorkIreland
  2. 2.Teagasc Food Research CentreFermoy, CorkIreland

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