For many years, milk whey, which represents up to 90% of the final product in cheese-making, has been seen only as a supplement for animal feed or, when such use was rendered impossible by transportation difficulties, as a waste liquid to be disposed.
Membrane technologies now allow a significant valorisation of milk whey and in particular the following applications should be noted:
Ultrafiltration. This technology enables almost total recovery of protein and/or fats in the form of a concentrate. The permeate, which contains lactose and mineral salts, can be further processed for the recovery of lactose.
Reverse osmosis concentrates the entire mass by about three times, after which it can be further concentrated by thermal processes until a protein powder is obtained. The permeate is good quality water that can be reused in the dairy factory itself or discharged into surface waters.
Nanofiltration. This technology is similar to reverse osmosis but lets a part of the mineral salts pass into the permeate (particularly, chlorides), thus providing a partially demineralized concentrate.
Using the latest technology and the best components on the market, TA is able to provide high quality machinery tailored to the specific needs of the client.