The GP focuses on the creation of high value products using whey residues.
Environmental regulations do not permit the dumping of whey for its great environmental impact due to its high COD and require that cheese factories manage the serum treating or reusing it in their own facilities or delivering it to another company for use or processing.
Due to the orography of Lea-Artibai territory, the collection, transformation and use of whey for highly valuable uses is extremely difficult, so it mainly used to feed animals. On the other hand, whey has a chemical composition that allows its use for many interesting technological properties. Currently, in the production of sheep cheese with Denomination Origin of Idiazabal (typical of the Basque country), approximately 13 million liters of whey per year are generated. The GP addresses both aspects, aiming to exploit the properties of whey to create of high value, marketable, craft products for human consumption. Through the cooperation between local SMEs and Leartiker technological centre the product Gaxure was developed, a food product which uses 100% of the whey and can be used in culinary field, especially in the gourmet sector.
The role of Regional Authority was to give financial fundings for the researching activity and to do the market research.
1- The researching activity of the Leartiker Food Technology Research Center: 200.000euros aprox.
2- Market research and the launch of the Gaxure product to the market: 15.000euros
3- Working time dedicated to developing the process: more than 4 years
4- Staff involved: 4 people
Evidence of success
A new product for human consumption that has a high nutritional and market value, Gaxure, has been created and is now effectively produced. Since it consists of a product to be eaten, its appearance was also important: in this sense, one additional evidence of success is the ability to create a product that is appealing not only from the point of view of nutritional values, but also from the point of view of visual appearance and taste.
Potential for learning or transfer
Cheesemaking industry is very well developed and diffused in Europe: since, as a consequence, the problem of sustainable whey disposal is common to many areas, this GP has a high level of transferability.
The GP is also particularly interesting for its capacity to create a new product that is very attractive on the market and that is used in luxury field, such as the one of gourmet food, starting from a matter with a very low perceived quality.
Besides the core project, what could be transferred is also the idea behind it, that is to create a local system for whey valorisation, which answers perfectly to the local needs of people, companies and is adapted to a specific territory.
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