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Upcycling Whey is a Win-Win

Supporting Small to Medium Sized Cheesemakers 

As the demand for artisanal and specialty cheeses continues to rise, so does the need for supporting small to medium-sized cheesemakers. These cheesemakers often face the challenge of what to do with the whey, a co-product of the cheese-making process. Whey is a valuable dairy ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways, but many cheesemakers struggle to find a cost-effective way to process and utilize it. That’s where dairy ingredient processors can help.

Dairy ingredient processors are companies that specialize in processing whey and other dairy co-products into usable ingredients for the food industry. They offer a range of services, including whey protein concentrate production, lactose processing, and whey permeate production. By partnering with these processors, small to medium-sized cheesemakers can upcycle their whey into a valuable asset, rather than a waste product.

One of the main benefits of working with a dairy ingredient processor is that they can provide a home for the cheesemaker’s whey. Instead of disposing of the whey, which can be costly and environmentally harmful, the processor can take it off the cheesemaker’s hands and turn it into a useful ingredient. This not only helps the cheesemaker save money on waste disposal costs but also reduces their environmental impact.

Worker separating curd from whey in tank at cheese factory, closeup

Upcycling Co-product of Cheesemaking

If a dairy processor did not take the whey, the cheesemaker would need to find another way to dispose of it. Whey contains nutrients and other substances that can be harmful to the environment if not properly handled. Some cheesemakers may dispose of whey in landfills, which can have negative environmental impacts such as methane emissions and leachate contamination. In addition to environmental concerns, disposing of whey can also be costly for cheesemakers. They may need to pay for transportation and disposal fees, which can add up over time.

Overall, not taking the whey could lead to negative environmental impacts and increased costs for cheesemakers. That’s why partnering with a dairy ingredient processor can be a beneficial solution for both the cheesemaker and the environment. The processor can take the whey off the cheesemaker’s hands and upcycle it into a valuable ingredient, reducing waste and providing a return for the cheesemaker.

Partnering with Cheesemakers

Dairy processors can work with cheesemakers to co-invest in whey processing equipment, which can be located on-site at the cheesemaking facility or at a central processing location. By investing in equipment that can condense and dry whey, cheesemakers can reduce the volume and weight of the product, making it more cost-effective to transport and in the end take more trucks off the road.

In addition, condensing the whey can also make it easier for cheesemakers and dairy processors to store and use the product. The condensed whey can be stored in a smaller space and has a longer shelf life than raw whey.

Overall, partnering and co-investing in whey processing equipment can have multiple benefits for cheesemakers and dairy processors. It can help reduce transportation costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the efficiency of whey utilization. By working together, cheesemakers and dairy processors can create a more sustainable and profitable future for the industry.


In conclusion, partnering with a dairy ingredient processor can be a win-win situation for small to medium-sized cheesemakers. By providing a home and return for whey, processors can help cheesemakers turn a waste product into a valuable asset. As the demand for specialty and artisanal cheeses continues to grow, it’s important to support these small and medium-sized producers, and dairy ingredient processors can play a vital role in helping them succeed.