The period of prohibition for milk whey, which is obtained during cheese production, will end on August 25 in Ecuador. But these 6 months of recess, served to regulate this sector which, for the most part, is questioned for subtracting land from the commercialization of milk under alleged informal practices. In return, today there are only cheesemakers dissatisfied with their economic losses and they are requesting the Government to lift this veto.
In the country, it is estimated, there are more than 3,000 artisanal cheese producers who, until last February 25, normally sold whey. This production was destined for small and large companies. And these businesses used the input as a component to make dairy drinks, others, even as a milk replacement.
However, says Jorge Novillo, president of the Cotopaxi cheese association, since the day of the ban, that milk derivative continues to be discarded in the plant, a mandatory requirement that is not only illegal for him but also affects the economic interests of the Dairy Productive Sector “It is not legal, because nobody can prevent a business. In our case, we pay one hundred percent of what a liter of milk costs, but with this, we are occupying just 10% of that to make the cheese. 90% (the remaining liquid) is thrown away. ”
Within this veto there was also the commitment to find new alternatives for the use of this dairy input and there, says Gallegos, the industry did its part. Together with public agencies, he said, it was possible to design 30 projects that will allow the serum to go to new niches: not only food but health and beauty. The next phase is to motivate the industry to invest in order to make more efficient use of whey, whose offer will tend to grow over time.
Among the proposals for use is to allocate this input to the production of biofuel and biofertilizers. However, from the dairy industry, it is assured that it is not viable, because of the high cost it represents if it is compared with other cheaper inputs such as sugar cane. If whey is used as raw material to produce a liter of alcohol, the cost reaches $ 4; On the other hand, if the cane is used, the value is just $ 0.80.