Whey no longer dairy stepchild

  1. Post Whey no longer dairy stepchild

    Whey no longer dairy stepchild
    Wednesday, May 31, 2006

    Where whey once was considered a marginal moneymaker for dairy producers and processors, scientists are helping find profitable new ways to use the dairy co-product.

    University of Minnesota researchers are eyeing potential new medical benefits of whey protein derived from cheese production.

    Patients who have undergone gastric bypass weight control surgery can suffer nutrient deficiencies as a result of reduced stomach size and thus inadequate nutrient absorption during recovery.

    Whey protein can provide essential amino acids while helping post-op patients maintain muscle development, said Mary Higgins, Midwest Dairy Association director of ingredients marketing.

    The consumer market already has tapped whey’s potential: A recently introduced line of “Smartzone” energy bars manufactured by food giant Hershey’s uses whey protein concentrate and isolate to boost protein content to 14-15 grams per bar.

    “In the past, whey protein had more of a limited market — it was considered kind of a co-product to cheese,” Higgins told FarmWeek. “But now, because of all the nutrition and function it provides, it now is a very useful and very important piece of the dairy puzzle.

    “Some call it the preferred protein of bodybuilders. It’s being used in more and more new products every day around the world.

    “As we look at other populations — the elderly, HIV patients, whatever — there are other markets where it may have merit. There is a lot of whey protein that is exported around the world, and there is export potential.”

    According to USDA, U.S. dry whey protein concentrate production peaked in December at more than 30 million pounds after plunging sharply in mid-2003. The U.S. produces an estimated 50 percent more whey than can be used domestically. — Martin Ross

    For More Info Contact:
    David McClelland, Editor of Publications
    Phone (309) 557-3156 Fax (800) 640-1995 E-mail [email protected]

  2. Well crap, if this happens, whey prices are sure to increase.

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