Increasing the Value of Permeate Streams from Cheese, Whey and Milk

RESEARCHERS: Vincent Yeung, Cal Poly SLO; Haotian Zheng, NC State

TIMELINE: January 2022 – December 2023

BACKGROUND: Lactobionic acid (LBA) is an emerging value-added ingredient used in foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. LBA may be manufactured from lactose, however, there is no standard enzymatic manufacturing method available for industrial scale production. Globally, LBA production volume is extremely low (~55 million pounds annually). None of the major dairy manufacturers in California or USA manufacture LBA.

OBJECTIVE: To develop and to optimize scalable enzyme-driven bio-processing procedures for manufacturing LBA. To characterize and study the impact of key manufacturing parameters (e.g., pH, ionic strength of the substrates). To create a conjugated LBA-whey protein delivery system for nutrients.

INDUSTRY BENEFIT: Generate scalable procedures for manufacturing LBA (may stimulate startup enterprises). Conversion of lower value lactose to higher value LBA. LBA’s value proposition (innovative delivery system for nutrients/drug molecules).