Special Feature Specialty Cheese Editor


Whey Permeate Is Lower Cost, Sustainable Dairy Ingredient With Many Applications

Moira Crowley
Specialty Cheese Editor
Cheese Reporter Publishing Co., Inc.
mcrowley@cheesereporter.com • 608-316-3793

October 5, 2018


Dairy food manufacturers need to be made aware of a readily available food ingredient that can bring dairy flavor to many food systems in a cost efficient way – permeate, according to speakers at an ADPI webinar Thursday.

We all know that dairy proteins tend to be “the cool ingredient,” but permeate is important too, and it’s a dairy ingredient with some great advantages, said KJ Burrington, dairy ingredients applications program coordinator with the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR).

By definition, dairy permeate is all the components that actually permeate through a membrane process, she said. These ingredients tend to be high in lactose and low in protein, typically labeled as dairy product solids.
All in all, dairy permeate is actually a very useful and cost-saving ingredient, Burrington said.

The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) has a dairy permeate standard, as well as an international Codex standard that was developed last year, she continued.

The US by far has more whey permeate available as an ingredient than milk permeate, and every time you make whey protein concentrate or protein isolate, you’re also going to produce a lot of permeate, Burrington said.

Most of the milk permeate used in the US is for standardizing milk powders, she said. When we ship milk powder overseas, we ship it in the form of skim powder and milk permeate can be used to standardize the protein to 34 percent.

It’s possible to use whey permeate in many kinds of dairy applications – processed cheese, yogurt drinks or ice cream – and some of the label options most common in the US are “dairy product solids,” but there are other names you can use such as “whey solids” or “milk solids,” or just calling it “milk permeate” or “whey permeate,” Burrington said.

Michigan Plant Slated To Be Largest Permeate Dryer In The World
Proliant Dairy Ingredients confirmed recently that it will invest $85 million in a new joint venture in St. Johns, MI, designed for large-scale cheese and whey production.

Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. partnered with Proliant, part of the Lauridsen Group, Inc., for the new facility, slated to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020 at a cost of $470 million.

The facility will employ roughly 38 people, and use about eight million pounds of milk per day to produce roughly 400,000 pounds of permeate daily, making it the largest permeate dryer in the world, according to Gabriel Sevilla, Proliant’s’ vice president of sales and marketing.

Proliant manufactures VersiLac – a cost-effective source of dairy solids that can readily replace whey or nonfat dry milk in most formulations.

“Mainly cost-savings against other ingredients,” Sevilla clarified. “Usually, permeate is about 60 percent less expensive than skim milk powder and 20 percent less expensive than whey powder, and about 60 to 80 percent less expensive than cocoa powder, depending on cocoa powder prices. Also similar for cheese powders.”

The natural salty notes in VersiLac permit formulators to reduce or in some cases replace salt, which in turn allows for an improved nutritional label, and the minimal sweetness profile of VersiLac allows it to be used in applications where higher solids are desired without excess sweetness.

In the world of all dairy ingredients – all the way back to sweet whey – the interest was to find a good food use for whey because we know that most of our dairy ingredients have started at some point either being used as fertilizer, animal feed or in some cases, even fuel, Burrington said.

“Our approach is always to find the most high-value use for a whey ingredient, and permeate is one of those ingredients,” she said. “There’s actually a lot of permeate that’s produced and used for animal feed. Maybe 20 percent of permeate is used for food, and the rest is for animal feed.”

“Animal feed is of course a very important outlet, and we don’t want to diminish that at all, but it’s important for all of our dairy ingredients to be used in some way,” Burrington said.

“The dairy industry does try to approach all of their processes and procedures – especially in this day and age – in the hopes that the ingredient will be used for something that will provide a benefit to either a human or an animal,” she continued. “It’s a pretty good sustainability story.

All of ADPI’s webinars are available on-demand following the live broadcast. For more information on this webinar, contact ADPI at www.adpi.org.

Cheese Reporter and Moira Crowley welcomes letters and comments regarding the above story. Comments should be sent to: Moira Crowley by e-mail to mcrowley@cheesereporter.com





Moira Crowley has been Specialty Cheese Editor of Cheese Reporter since 2015. She has over 15 years experience covering the dairy industry through her work at Cheese Reporter. Her contributions to Cheese Reporter are read and referenced throughout the world.
For more information, call 608-316-3793 mcrowley@cheesereporter.com.


Other Special Features Written by Moira include:

A Mystery Beyond The Midwest, Aged & Mild Brick Seen As An Untapped Market
September 21, 2018

American Cheese Month Donations To American Cheese Education Foundation Benefit Entire Artisan Industry
September 14, 2018

Investment in Salary, Education Required To Find & Keep Qualified Cheese Mongers
July 20, 2018

Growing Market Demand for US Parmesan Due To Better Quality, More Usage Options
April 6, 2018

Staying Relevant To Tech-Savvy, Goal Driven Gen Z Means Dairy Must Nourish Body, Mind
April 6, 2018

Ghee Whiz! Health-Conscious Consumers Finding Clarified Butter As Superfood
October 6, 2017

More soon to be added.