Arla Foods Ingredients has received a 2014 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award for a unique process solution that enables Greek yogurt producers to make money from their acid whey waste stream by converting it into added-value dairy products.
The award was presented June 22 during the opening ceremony for this year’s IFT Food Expo, which is currently taking place in New Orleans. Arla Foods Ingredients was one of only three recipients of the award, which honors outstanding innovation in products, equipment and services. Ten jurors judged a total of 27 entries on criteria including degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to consumers and manufacturers, and scientific merit.
Acid whey has been put into the spotlight recently as a result of the booming popularity of Greek yogurt. For every 100kg of milk used to make Greek yogurt, only 33kg ends up used in the final product. The remaining two-thirds is acid whey, a by-product that must be dealt with by the processor. Many Greek yogurt producers simply dispose of acid whey in their waste stream, which attracts unwelcome overheads and zero income and controversy on environmental grounds.
However, Arla Foods Ingredients’ has developed a unique and simple process using a Nutrilac® protein derived from milk to turn acid whey into a range of dairy products that can be sold at a high margin on consumer markets. The result is fresh tasting and nutritious products that are a good source of calcium, protein and essential amino acids.
This is the second major award for Arla Foods Ingredients’ Nutrilac acid whey process. In September 2013, it was named ‘Best Beverage Ingredient’ at the Beverage Innovation Awards. Torben Jensen, Application Manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “We’re immensely proud to win this prestigious award. Outstanding service and constant innovation are at the heart of everything we do. We strive to create solutions that will keep our customers ahead of the market, and if a solution does not exist, then we work hard to create it. Our Nutrilac® acid whey process is a great example of how we put this approach into practice.”