Demineralize and concentrate whey using electrodialysis

Process by-products into valuable goods for reuse or sale

Demineralize and concentrate whey using electrodialysis with our custom RALEX® membranes

Did you know...

You can demineralize WPC and WPI by MEGA electrodialysis.

Custom solution based on in-house RALEX® membranes, stacks and units.

70+ running references with more than 4.700 tons of concentrated whey processed every day. Ask for the full reference list.

Regional offices and service partners around the world ensure tailored care for different customers.

Dairy demineralization by MEGA

More ingredients, less waste

More ingredients, less waste

We deal with all whey and other milk by-products issues. You save money on waste disposal and profit on selling or internal reusing of processed whey.
Demineralized whey can be used in infant formula, nurse nutrition, sports nutrition, ice cream and yoghurts or as animal feed. Process all types of cow, buffalo or goat dairy by-products.

  • Sweet and acid whey
  • UF permeate
  • Delactosed whey
  • Skimmed milk
  • Lactulose syrup
  • Mother liquor
  • Whey protein concentrates and isolate

MEGA Electrodialysis Application Overview

Electrodialysis application overview

Electrodialysis can be incorporated into different processes in the dairy business. Download the Aplication overview and get in touch with our sales managers to enhance your processes.

Electrodialysis explained

Electrodialysis units RALEX® by MEGA

Electrodialysis is an electric field gradient driven process enabling separation of mineral matters from feed solutions. It moves dissociated ions through ion-permselective membranes and forms two different flows - desalted flow called diluate and a concentrated flow called concentrate. Our RALEX® electrodialysis units provide a wide range of demineralization options and easy maintenance.

  • Flexible Technology for D50, D70, D90
  • CIP without steam or enzymes
  • Certified Quality

Lab & pilot testing

Lab & pilot testing

Verify the separation process with your feed samples. Testing can be done on a small scale in the Membrane Innovation Centre or on site using our pilot units.

What we do

Products

Sweet whey is a by-product of hard and semi-hard cheese production. It naturally contains a significant number of minerals and organic anions (acids). All minerals together represent ash content which is approximately 8.0-8.5% ODB considered typical for natural sweet whey with total solids 5.5-6.5% (TS). Demineralization by MEGA electrodialysis enables to decrease the ash and acids content to obtain a product with a much better taste and the possibility of a further use.

MEGA electrodialysis units can process natural whey or whey concentrated up to 22% TS - 18 - 22% TS by evaporation (EV) or pressure membrane processes as reverse osmosis (RO) or nanofiltration (NF). This is preferred due to the higher conductivity of the feed after the concentration and the optimal efficiency of MEGA ED units. Thanks to the concentration and higher conductivity of the feed MEGA electrodialysis units can achieve high demineralization rates like D90 (1% Ash ODB) without using ion exchange.

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Acid whey is a by-product of greek yogurt, soft cheese or quark production. Due to the high acidic properties with pH ranging from 4.7–5.3 caused by a high number of organic ions (lactate and citrate) and a large mineral content of approximately 9–11% ODB, considered typical for natural acid whey, with total solids 5.5-6.5% (TS) make it difficult for further processing. It can’t be evaporated without using special techniques with high operational costs and due to very low sensory attributes it can’t be reused internally either.

Electrodialysis is an elegant solution for all these issues. It goes hand in hand with the removal of minerals and especially of organic ions (acids). MEGA electrodialysis units can achieve pH values according to the customer’s needs by removing the organic ions (acids) and integrated pH correction. The results of the demineralization process of acid whey make the final product suitable for food grade products.

MEGA electrodialysis units can process natural acid whey or whey concentrated up to 22% TS - 18 - 22% TS by reverse osmosis (RO) or nanofiltration (NF), which is preferred due to the partial removal of monovalent ions and organic ions. Thanks to the higher conductivity of the feed after the concentration, MEGA ED units can work at the maximum efficiency to achieve high demineralization rates like D90 (1% Ash ODB) without using ion exchange even for acid whey.

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After ultrafiltration of whey, up to 95% of the solution is rejected as permeate despite its high lactose content. The reason for rejection is a very high mineral content from 9% up to 12 % ODB and high acidity after the whey is filtrated.

By processing of the UF permeate with electrodialysis you can produce an edible food-grade lactose for further use in confectionery, bakery or animal feed. That means that you can expand your product portfolio and increase your revenue by utilizing a by-product of cheese production.

The electrodialysis process also minimizes the evaporator and spray dryer scaling issues of an untreated UF permeate. And in that way partially prevents costs connected with the after-treatment maintenance which makes it a very effective solution for multiple parts of your production process and provides you with cost-effective advantages.

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Delactosed whey (DLW) or Mother Liquor (ML) is produced from concentrated whey which has been partly delactosed by crystallization. It is a saturated lactose solution (45-50% ODB) with a content of protein (26-33% ODB), organic acids and mineral substances (10-12% ODB), the total amount of dry matter is 40%. Due to a high volume of salts and acids, DLW/ML can’t be further reused as an animal feed.

The electrodialysis is an effective solution for reducing the salts and acids concentration after the original content of dry matter is diluted down to 18-22% in order to assure better hydrodynamic conditions of the electrodialysis process. The demineralized product can be reused in lactose production in order to increase the volume of the product. It means that it can be used either directly in liquid or spray dried.

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Lactulose syrup is a feed solution of lactulose after isomerisation by chemical catalysers. There is a high mineral content due to the agents of catalysers. Electrodialysis allows their removal to receive the final product, which is then used in the food industry or pharmaceutical applications.

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Our case studies

MEGA Electrodialysis RALEX P15 Moravia Lacto

Moravia Lacto, Czech Republic

Sweet and acid whey demineralization

In order to extend its portfolio, Moravia Lacto has decided to buy the electrodialysis technology to produce demineralized whey powder from sweet and acid whey. The RALEX® EWDU technology by MEGA allows flexibility in processed volumes, a variation of feed including acid whey and different demineralization rates.

A system of four 25-ton batches of whey and one cleaning process within a 24-hour cycle has been chosen. The demineralization of smaller quantities would be feasible, but not economical.

Electrodialysis was chosen due to its highly efficient separation and purification with low operating costs. The demineralization plant has been running since 2009 with extension in 2012 and an upgrade in 2016.

Moravia Lacto highlights

Flexible processed volume Sweet and acid whey Variable demineralization levels
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Ask about this project
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Milkavita, Belarus

Large scale whey demineralization and drying

This project allows to internally reuse dairy by-products in the food industry and make milk processing a waste-free production. The new production site is so effective, that it processes not only its own whey, but also whey from other factories in the surrounding regions in Belarus. The whey is processed into two main outputs. Demineralized whey powder for the food industry and high quality demineralized whey fat concentrate for livestock feeding. The MEGA technology is universal and can be set to produce LD50, SD70 or SD90.

The Demineralized whey powder is requested in Russia, China, India and South-East Asia, which gives Milkavita new export opportunities.

Milkavita highlights

All types of whey 500 tons per day New export
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Ask about this project

Products & Technologies

RALEX® products

Low-capacity ED units RALEX® EWDU Series P

Low capacity ED units RALEX® EWDU Series P

Electrodialysis low capacity unit for demineralization of various types of whey and for other dairy applications. Compact autonomous processing unit with control system for operating and control of process parameters. Capacity modification with one or two electrodialysis stacks EDR-II. Operating in batch mode. Capacity is designed upon customer’s request. Achievable rate of demineralization is 50%, 70% and 90%.
One-stack unit dimensions (l×w×h): 4.8 × 1.2 × 2.5 m
Two-stack unit dimensions (l×w×h): 6.7 × 1.2 × 2.5 m

RALEX® EWDU nx EDR-II 2S two-stage

Two-stage RALEX® EWDU nx EDR-II 2S

Industrial scale unit for demineralization of various types of whey and for other dairy applications by electrodialysis. EWDU units have been designed with extensibility in mind. They can be supplied with fewer stacks at first and later extended to six or even eight stacks if the market situation requires, all without re-engineering the whole unit. Industrial autonomous processing unit with control system for operating and control of process parameters and automatic chemical CIP. Achievable rate of demineralization is 50%, 70% and 90%.
Three-stack unit dimensions (l×w×h): 7.7 × 3.3 × 4.0 m
Six-stack unit dimensions (l×w×h): 7.7 × 5.2 × 4.0 m
Eight-stack unit dimensions (l×w×h): 10.5 × 5.2 × 4.0 m

RALEX® EWDU nx EDR-II 1S single-stage

Single-stage RALEX® EWDU nx EDR-II 1S

Innovated industrial scale unit for demineralization of various types of whey and for other dairy applications by electrodialysis. The single-stage unit is 15 % more efficient and requires even smaller footprint. Extensible EWDU units can be supplied with fewer stacks at first and later extended to six or even eight stacks if the market situation requires, all without re-engineering the whole unit. Industrial autonomous processing unit with control system for operating and control of process parameters and automatic chemical CIP. Achievable rate of demineralization is 50%, 70% and 90%.
Eight-stack unit dimensions (l×w×h): 8.2 × 4.5 × 3.4 m

We care about you

MEGA Care saves your money.
Get all the care you need.

24/7 Specialist Hotline
Remote technology diagnostics
Periodical post-warranty checks

MEGA Care reduces downtimes to the necessary technological minimum by active monitoring, prevention and remote adjustments in advance. Periodical inspections at the point of installation provide three days of exhaustive evaluation during reular production, membrane samples are sent to MEGA laboratory for testing to show early signs of scaling or fouling. Inspections to gather hands-on data together with overall parameters monitoring bring necessary information to ensure reliable performance.

More about MEGA Care

MEGA Care reduces downtimes to the necessary technological minimum by active monitoring, prevention and remote adjustments in advance. Periodical inspections at the point of installation provide three days of exhaustive evaluation during reular production, membrane samples are sent to MEGA laboratory for testing to show early signs of scaling or fouling. Inspections to gather hands-on data together with overall parameters monitoring bring necessary information to ensure reliable performance.

More about MEGA Care

Interested? Contact us.