Whey waste to be used for cheese packaging, livestock feed

Project GO Orleans launched to help circular economy

Whey waste is being used for cheese packaging to improve its shelf life. Photo: iStockphoto
Whey waste is being used for cheese packaging to improve its shelf life. Photo: iStockphoto

A new research project has been initiated to convert whey, a cheese by-product, into a packaging material that can help extend the shelf life of cheese as well to improve the quality of animal feed. 

The Aimplas – Plastics Technology Center, along with the agri-food business federation of the Valencian Community, La Cabezuella, and the University of Valencia in Spain, has launched the Go Orleans project to convert whey waste into quality products and boost the circular economy.

Whey will be used as a natural ingredient to form an antimicrobial coating to preserve cheese and is expected to increase its durability by 25% to 50%. The whey waste will also be used to provide probiotic ingredients to animal feed and help animal feed industries to improve livestock health. 

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, around 18 million tonnes of cheese are produced worldwide annually, generating 180 million liters of whey. Large cheese companies can recover the nutritional properties of whey through recovery processes. 

But small-scale cheese units, which form a large chunk of the industry, cannot afford expensive equipment and dispose of the whey waste, which is harmful to the environment. So the Go Orleans project was launched to resolve this problem and make better products from whey waste.

Aimplas to create functional packaging with whey waste

ADM Biopolis, a project member, provides its know-how in probiotic design and verification. The university is contributing to the study of antimicrobial activities.

Giuseppe Meca, preventive medicines professor at the university, said the bio-preservation potential would help separate the bacteria. Later, the compounds in the matrix will be characterized.

Aimplas is working on creating functional packaging with whey as a core component with antimicrobial properties.

Alicia Naderpour, a packaging researcher at Aimplas, said they had developed a new solution that produces plastic film packaging from whey to increase the shelf life of cheese.

Participating in the project, the Federation of Food Industries of the Region of Valencia (FEDACOVA) will help transfer the research studies to the Valencian agro-food industry, mainly to individual members and companies in the cheesemakers association of the Valencian community.

According to Sergio Barona, general secretary of FEDACOVA, their participation will help improve competitiveness in the industry. 

The Go-Orleans Project is an example of a circular economy initiative as stated in sustainable development goal (SDG) 12 on production and responsible consumption, SDG 9 on innovation, infrastructure, and industry, and SDG 13 on climate action. Two Spanish cheese-making companies are also participating in this project.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here