The technology is ready for industrial production and commercialization. W2V’s next steps will include looking for strategic partners from the dairy industry.
The challenge of whey
The dairy industry generates more than 190m tons of whey waste annually through cheese, curd and yogurt manufacturing. Only limited solutions exist to solve this major economic and environmental challenge. W2V said the costs of processing acid whey by currently-available technologies are prohibitively high for smaller manufacturers.
Daniel Tepe, CEO of Whey2Value, explained the approach of the patented technology to DairyReporter.
“W2V uses acid whey as a substrate for food-grade non-GMO microorganisms,” Tepe said.
“During the fermentation, these microorganisms not only consume all the organic matter in acid whey but convert it into vitamin B12. Unlike the currently available commercial product, which is produced using highly toxic cyanide during the isolation process, vitamin B12 resulting from the W2V process is in its natural form. This transformation is an another important step towards a sustainable green economy.”
Besides the vitamin B12-enriched biomass, which is dried and can be directly used as a component of animal feed premixes, the W2V process also provides purified water.
Tepe said, “We strongly believe in the principles of circular economy and zero-waste production. Whey2Value is a technology that perfectly fits into such a strategy. It will enable a sustainable production of highly valuable vitamin B12 and help us to eliminate a significant pollutant.”
W2V GmbH (Whey2Value) is a German-based joint venture company, established by EW Nutrition (Visbek, Germany) and Acies Bio (Slovenia).
Acies Bio, a research-driven biotechnology company, develops sustainable technological solutions, while EW Nutrition, which sells in more than 90 countries and has R&D production facilities in Brazil, Germany, Japan and the US, is a global feed additives company, with a science-based product portfolio.