Whey is created whenever cheese is made – and these days, it is often processed further. From infants to seniors, athletes or in medicine, anyone interested in nutrition benefits from whey protein. That makes wheyco, which produces tailor-made ingredients out of whey for the food industry, into an important driver of growth at DMK’s BU Industry.
It took a while for people to become aware of the value of whey. Research shows that the Vikings ate whey-based cheese, but in the course of the following centuries, less attention was paid to whey. By the 20th century, it was seen as a worthless by-product in milk production, and was used as a fertilizer for fields. That is no longer something anyone would consider nowadays.
“You need good whey to make good derivatives suitable for the food industry – and that is our aim,” says Kerstin Aue, Senior Marketing Manager Nutrition at wheyco. “The best whey whey always comes from the same cheese source and has undergone as little heat treatment as possible, for example, and has minimal contamination.”
Whey is a real all-rounder. Products made using whey give foods flavor, texture and creaminess. If you are wondering about examples, there are many. In chocolate, confectionery and baked goods, whey permeate enhances the flavor. Whey helps baked goods to brown better and adds moisture to products. And whey protein makes ice cream creamier, and replaces lactose with protein.
The global whey derivatives industry has been growing for years and is steadily gaining value as specialty products are developed. Alexander Godow, COO of BU Industry, spells out the role of whey in the DMK Group: “As one of the largest cheese producers in Europe, we can only achieve above-average milk prices by focusing on cheese in combination with whey. Whey derivatives offer plenty of scope for growth, innovation and differentiation. This, coupled with the high level of expertise in wheyco and the BU Industry, will be one of the factors in our success.”
The whey trend is set to keep growing, according to studies. While high-protein diets used to be popular mainly among bodybuilders, they’re now embraced more broadly among the general population. Most people or groups who are health conscious cannot imagine a diet without whey protein. And the pandemic is only going to further power this trend, say experts – a real growth market for wheyco.