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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Membrane processing of cheese whey and preparation of ferric whey protein by heating Amantea, Gerald F.


A concentrate containing up to 73% protein N was recovered from cheese whey by using cellulose acetate ultrafiltration membrances designed to reject solutes larger than 30,000 molecular weight by a continuous washing procedure. Conditions necessary for increasing the ultrafiltration process for cheese whey are reported. Variables include pressure, membrane porosity, feed rate, clarification, temperature and pH. The objective was to prepare whey products with a minimum concentration of monovalent salts and maximum concentration of protein while still maintaining a high flux rate. As expected pH adjustment to 7.0 and clarification at 2000 X g for 5 min were critical in increasing flux rate. However, membrane blockage occurred and gel electrophoresis indicated that (β-casein and αs-casein were the major components responsible yet salts and lactose may also be implicated to a lesser degree. Flux rate increased with temperature but was not affected by pressure. Results indicate that concentrating 3-4X would be practical but higher levels would be uneconomical due to the accumulation of viscous materials on the membrane. Gel filtration showed that whey proteins are retained almost quantitatively in the concentrate while low molecular weight nitrogen containing material pass the membrane into the permeate.

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