Cheese whey, once considered “waste” from cheese making, is now a highly sought-after commodity with a significant share of the dairy ingredients market. Through innovations in technology and food science, whey has evolved into an income-producing ingredient for the dairy industry. Technology is again poised to further increase market value for whey proteins through texturization processing and creation of textured co-products.

Texturization is the process of creating structure and texture in bio…

Fig. 1—Coextruded snacks containing whey protein.

Fig. 2— Newer texturized whey protein products include powders and crumbs (top) and ribbons and chunks (bottom).

Fig. 3—Whey protein texturization process developed at the USDA/ARS Eastern Regional Research Center.

Fig. 4—Panoramic view of the modern pilot plant at ERRC. Top photo shows East view, and bottom photo shows West view. The Center of Excellence for Extrusion and Polymer Rheology is housed on the lower level. Composite photos by Paul Pierlott.

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