Evaluation of whey, milk, and delactosed permeates as salt substitutes

S. T. Smith, L. Metzger, M. A. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Whey and milk permeates are by-products of high-protein dairy powder manufacture. Previous work has shown that these permeates contribute to salty taste without contributing significantly to sodium content. The objective of this study was to explore the sensory characteristics and compositional analysis of permeates from different milk and whey streams and a low-sodium product application made from them. Skim milk, Cheddar, cottage, and Mozzarella cheese whey permeates were manufactured in triplicate, and delactosed whey permeate was obtained in triplicate. Composition (protein, fat, solids, minerals) was conducted on permeates. Organic acid composition was determined using HPLC. Volatile compounds were extracted from permeates by solid phase microextraction with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A trained sensory panel documented sensory attributes of permeates and cream of broccoli soups with and without salt or permeates followed by consumer acceptance testing (n = 105) on the soups. Cottage cheese whey permeate contained a higher lactic acid content than other permeates, which has been shown to contribute to a higher salty taste. Cottage cheese whey permeate also contained potato or brothy and caramel flavors and sour and salty tastes, whereas delactosed whey permeate had high intensities of cardboard and beefy or brothy flavors and salty taste. Milk, Cheddar, and Mozzarella cheese whey permeates were characterized by sweet taste and cooked milky flavor. Permeates with higher cardboard flavor had higher levels of aldehydes. All permeates contributed to salty taste and to salty taste perception in soups; although the control soup with added salt was perceived as saltier and was preferred by consumers over permeate soups. Soup with permeate from cottage cheese was the least liked of all soups, likely due to its sour taste. All other permeate soups scored at parity for liking. These results demonstrate the potential for milk, whey, and delactosed permeates from different whey streams to be used as salt substitutes in product applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8687-8698
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding provided in part by the National Dairy Council (NDC; Rosemont, IL). The use of tradenames does not imply endorsement nor lack of endorsement by those not mentioned.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Dairy Science Association


  • acid whey
  • permeate
  • salt substitute


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