Whey has been formally used in Ecuador since 2011, but today it is at the center of the controversy between the dairy industry and a segment of dairy producers.That year, the Institute of Normalization (INEN) issued a technical standard with the requirements that must be met by milk drinks with whey and dairy products, whose main ingredient is milk.
The product has been part of the homemade menu by tradition, especially in the rural coastal area, such as Manabí. It is an ingredient used to make desserts,breads and biscuits. Whey is obtained from the making of cheeses.
On cethe curd is separated, which is the solid, the liquid product remains. The so-called whey has high levels of protein and nutritional value. It is estimated that out of every ten liters of milk used to produce cheese, nine of milk are recovered.
In foodit is used mainly in the preparation of whey cheeses, such as ricotta; whey drinks not fermented and / or fermented. But there are other common uses that are a global trend for baking, supplements to increase muscle mass, special diets and pharmaceuticals.
Accordingto the Center for the Milk Industry (CIL), since 2005, beverages were created using a serum component. But since there was no standard, the quantities used of this ingredient were free, which resulted in a chaotic situation.
Facedwith this, the Government adopted the food standards, guidelines and international codes of practice of the Codex Alimentaruis of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WHO. This led to the creation of the first INEN standards for 2011 and 2012. According to the CIL, Ecuador allocates 1.2 million liters / day for the formal production of cheese, since it is also made by hand.
That generates 900,000 liters of serum, but only 10% is using the dairy industry:90,000 liters. Rodrigo Gallegos, executive director of CIL, points out that this amount is only 1.8% of all milk production in the country. “It has adequate regulations and should be used technically by the entire chain to improve the competitiveness of the sector.”
The CILrepresents eight of the most important industries and collects 820,000 liters /day of milk from small, medium and large producers. In 2017, the national production of milk was 5.1 million liters / day; 72.3% was used for sale,according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).
The entire industry purchases 2 733 710 liters / day from producers. Gallegos explains that the milk drinks that are produced in the country have 71% of whole milk and 29% of complement that can be whey, oats or fruits.
The whey is purchased from the cheesemakers at USD 0.4 and 0.5, while the official cost of the whole milk liter is 0.42. Among the producers, the positions on theuse of serum are diverse. For some it must leave circulation. Others recognize their nutritional properties, but believe that their use must be well regulated and labeled so that the consumer knows what they buy.
Last week, the Fe for milk movement, with nearly 6,000 producers from six provinces(Carchi, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Pastaza), blocked the Pan-American South. The main demand was that the regulations that regulate the use of whey and that it leaves the market be eliminated.
They say that marketing for dairy drinks reduced their sales. Francis Abad,representative of the guild, asked the authorities that the INEN make atechnical study that maintains that whey is food.
agrees that a MAG Advisory Council, composed of all the actors, should work to better regulate the issue. The INEN standards are voluntary, so regulations for the production of milk drinks are lacking. Regrets that the issue has been”politicized” and now “the serum is accused of being the culprit” of a possible affectation.
One of the causes may be in the fall of milk consumption in the country. The first semester of 2018 registered a reduction of 6.6%, according to the CIL. Ecuador has a per capita consumption of 110 liters / year. FAO recommends 170. Seven days ago the Ecuador campaign began with a mustache, promoted by the MAG, after the appointment of President Lenin Moreno with producers in Ambato to analyze the reality of the sector.
Therehe undertook to form a team to design a public community company to processser um for the pharmaceutical industry. For the Consorcio de Lácteos deTunguragua Conlac-T, sales have been better this year, due to the greater variety of buyers and fewer limitations in the quotas of the industry, says manager Fanny Masabanda.
The group includes 20 associations and 600 producers, who sell about 25,000 liters/ day. The Rey Lácteos industry, part of the CIL, manufactures cheeses since2005 and 2007 developed a portfolio of foods that use more milk, whey. “In the industrialization of whey we were not the pioneers, but we can say that we are successful,” says the manager, Rodrigo Dueñas.
Highlights that in the country there are several companies that industrialize the serum,as its shareholders have seen the need to use milk fully and not generate waste. The product is generated from their cheeses and they buy cheese from provinces such as Carchi, Pichincha, Azuay and Manabí.
The investment is USD 50 million in the last seven years. And it has a portfolio of70 million for 10 years. Glossary Milk serum. It is the dairy product obtained in the preparation of products such as cheese, casein or similar products, by separating the curd, after the coagulation of milk and / or derivatives.
Milk drink with buttermilk. It is the product obtained from milk, reconstituted milkand / or derivatives, reconstituted or not, with the addition of non-dairyingredients and whey. (I)