The primary objective of the project is to exploit the potential of the whey, an unexploited resource of the food industry. We intend to achieve this by the introduction of advanced technological processes for the isolation and enhancement of individual whey proteins and the use of the whey residue to form innovative food supplements and functional food additives.
Five specific goals have been set:
Goal 1. To achieve an economically feasible technological solution for the separation of commercially interesting whey proteins (in addition to lactoferrin) using advanced fractionation processes with integrated process analytic technology (PAT) control, which will offer high purity and biological activity of isolates.
- Isolation of individual proteins from various types of whey using different filtration systems and ion exchange chromatography.
- Monitoring of activity, safety, stability and characteristics of protein isolates.
Goal 2. To increase the shelf-life and achieve the localised release of whey protein lactoferrin using microencapsulation and extend the scope of action by the preparation of lactoferrin hydrolysates.
- Introducing various microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation techniques according to the desired end-use.
- Monitoring of characteristics and verification of stability of microencapsulated products.
- Introduction and testing of various methods of hydrolysis of whey protein lactoferrin.
- Characterization of hydrolysates and evaluation of the success of hydrolysis.
Goal 3. Optimize the production of probiotics and their metabolites (e.g. bacteriocins) in whey fractions with reduced protein content.
- Testing the applicability of whey residues as growth media for the growth of probiotics and cultures that produce bacteriocins.
- Testing the methods of stabilising the obtained biomass and their metabolites.
- Monitoring the growth of biomass, the production of bacteriocins and the survival of probiotics after stabilisation.
Goal 4. Define the final utilisation of whey residues with reduced protein content with the goal of exploitation of the remaining whey components based on the zero-waste principle.
- Testing various filtration techniques for whey for separation or condensation of individual fractions (microfiltration, nanofiltration, reverse and forward osmosis).
Goal 5: Demonstration and validation of goals 1 – 4 on the prototype level.