Whey pretreatments before ultrafiltration


  • Tuomo Tupasela Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Food Research Institute, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland
  • Heikki Koskinen Department of Food Technology, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Pirkko Antila Department of Food Technology, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland


Whey is a by-product of cheesemaking. Whey dry matter contains mainly lactose, but also valuable whey proteins. The aim of this study was to develop improvements to whey protein membrane isolation processes. In our trials CaCl2 -added, pH-adjusted and heat-treated wheys were found to have MF (microfiltration) permeate fluxes about 30% higher than in untreated MF whey. The total solids and protein content of the MF permeates decreased compared to the original wheys. UF (ultrafiltration) trials were conducted using MF whey to compare it with centrifugally separated whey. The MF whey consistently maintained an UF flux about 1.5 to 2.5 times higher than that of the separated whey. Differently treated MF whey UF permeate fluxes also showed a difference. With CaCl2 addition, pH adjustment and heat treatment, the UF permeate fluxes were about 20 to 40% higher than when only MF was used. The total solids content decreased in each trial. The protein content of the UF concentrate also decreased compared to the MF permeate. The (β-lg (β-lactoglobulin) and α-la (α-lactalbumin) content was almost the same in UF concentrates as in MF permeates.


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How to Cite

Tupasela, T., Koskinen, H., & Antila, P. (1994). Whey pretreatments before ultrafiltration. Agricultural and Food Science, 3(5), 473–479. https://doi.org/10.23986/afsci.72719