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Greek Yogurt Research Paper

Decent Essays
Greek yogurt: Whey too much?
By Sharmin Sampat for www.ecoanchornyc.com, October 20, 2016
Greek yogurt is a booming $6-billion-dollar industry nationwide and New York generates 70% of the supply. A total of 695 million pounds of Greek yogurt was produced in New York in 2012.1 The economic impacts are strong and largely positive amounting to 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in 20153.
For every 3-4 oz. of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only 1 oz. of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey- a thin, runny waste product that cannot be dumped easily.2 Although whey is a natural by-product of food production, in large quantities, it can pose a risk to the environment if not managed properly1. For every 7000 gallons of farm milk that
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Without the need for any additional regulatory checks or animal welfare guidelines, the USDA altered the small dairy farm herd caps from 199 to 299 cows5. This means that more farms breeding increasing number of cows and increasing the strain on planetary resources and pollution levels.
How is whey managed?
As an animal feed and soil nutrient: The farmers mix it with the total ration to feed the animals. It is also used as a fertilizer for the land. This increases the acidity of the land and the manure and fertilizer end up getting washed off into waterways. This causes widespread concern2.
Further processing of acid whey into one or more products: Research is on for special filtration methods for separating and recovering the protein in the acid whey and use it as an infant formula. Acid whey is a good source of galacto-oligosaccharides, an important pre-biotic and are working towards obtaining regulatory approval for human consumption6. Researchers at University of Wisconsin, Center for Dairy Research are experimenting to figure out a way to get edible-grade lactose out of acid
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To put it plainly, this is unacceptable. But, the tidal wave of Greek yogurt is not slowing down anytime soon. There is no U.S federal standard of identity for Greek yogurt and is not expected anytime soon. A standard of identity for Greek yogurt should be sought out and it should not only be written around nutritional characteristics such as protein level, but also on the process and ingredients. Another area where the government involvement is needed, is in facilitating the building of large-scale anaerobic digesters, including full range of tax and investment incentives that might encourage the building and operation of such facilities. Ways to reduce interconnection costs between digesters and state’s electricity grid must be examined. There is a desperate need for the federal/state/local governments as well as universities involved in research to ensure the strength of milk production sector in New York as well as address important concerns of Greek yogurt processing8 and advance towards more sustainable
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