Whey is a type of protein made of serum albumin, α-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, protease-peptones, and β-lactoglobulin. It is the liquid remaining after curdled milk has drained. It is also produced after new cheese drains. Other types of whey are the sweet whey and the acid whey. The making of cheese involves the addition of rennet which separates the curds and produces the liquid whey. Whey itself is needed in making ricotta cheese, brown cheeses, and whey butter. It is also added to enhance crackers, pastry, bread, and animal feed. It mainly acts as flour conditioner in baking goods. In Europe, whey is made into soda pop and liquid whey drinks such as wine whey. It is also used as a fertilizer.
Whey Exporting Countries
According to the Product Complexity Index, whey is the 440th most traded product. It also stands as the 402nd most complex product. Whey dairy products are shipped in bulk or 3 lb packages or containers. The following are big importers of whey. France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Denmark, Poland, China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Kuwait, Australia, Greece, Egypt, Singapore, UK, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, and India.
The United States exports whey dairy products. It leads the way in exporting this lucrative byproduct of the cheese industry. It also exports whole milk powder, cheese, butterfat, and lactose. China is one of the biggest whey products consumer of the US. New Zealand and Southeast Asia are also big importers of US whey products. The US exported $668,350,000 USD worth of whey dairy products in 2015. Second is France with $553,572,000 USD worth of whey dairy products in 2015. Third, is Germany with $493,732,000 USD worth of whey dairy products in 2015. Fourth is New Zealand with $475,884,000 USD worth of whey dairy products. Fifth is Netherlands with $349,805,000 USD worth of whey dairy products. Sixth is Poland with $189,531,000 USD worth of whey dairy products. Seventh is Ireland with $138,980,000 USD worth of whey dairy products. Eighth is Italy with $136,501,000 USD worth of whey dairy products. Ninth is Denmark with $113,448,000 USD worth of whey dairy products. Tenth is Austria with $101,955,000 USD worth of whey dairy products.
Whey Protein Benefits
As a protein isolate, whey is consumed as a dietary supplement. It is quickly absorbed by the body and considered highly bioavailable. Its properties make it an ideal protein source as it is carbohydrate free, cholesterol-free, fat-free, and almost lactose-free. It also possesses large amounts of branched-chain amino acids that are naturally found in muscle tissue. Another form that is constantly used in body building is whey protein concentrate. This form contains bioactive compounds and carbohydrates that some people believe increases muscle mass quicker. The third form is whey hydrolysate which has its use in sports medicine. It allows the absorption of amino acids that helps protein nutrient delivery to muscle tissues.