The Corporation for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (Corpei) , through a letter, indicated this February 2 that the use of all by-products from milk would allow generating important positive impacts in the country.

Also called whey is the liquid obtained during the coagulation of milk in the cheese and casein manufacturing process. It is greenish-yellow in color, cloudy, with a fresh, acid taste and is 94% water, protein and fat.

The pronouncement comes within the framework of the ruling of the Constitutional Court (CC) in which it is detailed that the commercialization of whey from dairy plants that have a current certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), registered in the National Regulatory Agency, Control and Sanitary Surveillance (Arcsa), will be allowed.

Specifically, the guild sees potential from four pillars. The first is the environmental impact, since taking advantage of the raw material (whey) would be in line with the principles of a circular economy and would avoid food waste.

The second pillar is on issues of competitiveness. Corpei explains that whey protein (liquid, concentrate or powder) is considered a safe food for human beings, according to Codex, FAO, FDA and various regulations worldwide. In that sense, it considers that Agreement 177 generates a barrier to trade, because with the use of whey it can contribute to the strategic substitution of imports and promote Ecuador’s competitiveness against neighboring countries.

Economic inclusion is the third pillar. At this point, the organization highlights that a more profitable business model should be aimed at the cheese sector, of which 80% are small producers. Finally, Corpei emphasizes that due to the high nutritional factor of the whey, it could be used to make products focused on sports nutrition.

María de Lourdes Luque, manager of Corpei Consulting -and who signs the letter-, mentions that “the use of this by-product would not compete with milk.” On the contrary, it considers that its use would generate important positive impacts for the sustainability of the dairy chain in the country, since it would promote innovation in new product portfolios that take advantage of all the nutritional components of milk.

Since 2021, the organization has accompanied the cheese sector in the construction of a Competitive Improvement Plan that allows the efficient use of raw material and its derivatives, thus strengthening its commercial activities.

Corpei calls on the national government so that, together with the sectors involved, it can work “urgently on the regulations that set standards and protocols for the quality and safety of liquid whey in all its stages, as indicated in the opinion of the Constitutional Court”. (I)