Extrusion of Whey Proteins
Extrusion technology is utilized in many areas of the food industry, including the production of snack foods, breakfast cereals, animal feed, and other diverse food products. The Utah State University Dairy Products Lab is home to a bench-scale APV Baker twin screw cooker- extruder, which is available for small-scale production and research. The extruder is configured to produce both puffed and texturized products.
In 2003, researches at Utah State University patented both the process, and products of extruded whey, including a high protein puffed product, and a texturized meat analog, now licensed to Grande Cheese of Lomira Wisconsin (US patent 6,607,77). Optimizing and characterizing these texturized whey products has been a very fruitful area of research, and many applications have yet to be explored. Possible areas for further research include: