Milking Dairy Waste for All It’s Worth

Dairy is a $45 million business each year in Wisconsin. In the process of churning out massive quantities of milk, cheese, yogurt, and more, the dairy industry also produces tons of non-food residues, such as acid whey and milk permeates. Disposal of these leftovers poses an economic and environmental liability for farmers and processors.

A new project led by the Wisconsin Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison seeks to turn this trash into treasure. Through a new collaboration with Wisconsin dairy industry stakeholders, the effort is developing processes to ferment dairy residues into organic chemicals and other useful products that can serve as a new revenue stream for farmers and support rural communities.

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