Valorization of cheese whey: closing the loop from protein extraction to whey protein film composting.
Food waste valorisation
Food packaging waste reduction
Cheese protein.
Industrial composting.
Compression moulding.
Issue Date: 
Royal Society of Chemistry
Editorial note: 
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. CC-BY-NC
Uribarrena, M., Rovira-Cal, E., Urbina, L., Suarez, M. J., Aymerich, E., Guerrero, P., ... & Etxabide, A. (2024). Valorization of cheese whey: closing the loop from protein extraction to whey protein film composting. Green Chemistry.
Whey protein extracted from cheese-making by-products was analysed as a potential alternative for both food waste valorisation and food packaging waste reduction. Whey protein was ultrafiltered from local cheese whey and used for film manufacture via compression moulding. The physicochemical characterization of the extracted protein showed that the purity of the extracted protein was 91.6% wt. FTIR and XRD analyses, as well as SEM images, revealed the presence of lactose in the extracted protein. The solubility of the films made in water indicated that whey protein films would be suitable for packaging fatty foods, e.g. cheese, thus following the circular economy strategy. Furthermore, since the biodegradability of the f ilms was higher than 70% after 48 h under composting conditions, it can be concluded that whey protein f ilms are rapidly compostable in any industrial composting facility, highlighting the more sustainable character of these films. Finally, the environmental assessment confirmed that the film manufacturing process was the stage contributing the most to the environmental impact and, thus, this step should be optimised to reduce the environmental footprint of the films developed.

Files in This Item:
1.86 MB
Adobe PDF

Statistics and impact

Items in Dadun are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.