Written by: Prof. Thom Huppertz
Professor of Dairy Science and Technology, Wageningen University
Further challenges are provided by the environmental impact of current food production practices. Feeding the world population well, now and in the future, will be based on healthy and sustainable diets as well as food and nutrition supply and availability. The role of each food product should be assessed on the balance between nutritional quality and environmental impact of overall diets (not products), while also considering economic and social aspects. As a result, optimized healthy and sustainable diets embrace both animal-based and plant-based food products, wherein high-quality proteins like whey protein play a prominent role.
Key reasons for the importance of whey in a sustainable and healthy diet are:
Crucial in a sustainable food system is the focus on feeding people rather than filling people. This requires balanced diets that meet nutritional requirements and prevent nutrient deficiencies. Avoiding overconsumption, however, is equally important and becomes a serious risk when diets contain too many products of low nutrient density or poorly bioavailable nutrients. Whey is a nutrient-rich product containing high-quality and easily digestible proteins, unique functional carbohydrates and a well-balanced range of micronutrients, including minerals and vitamins. As such, whey is a key contributor to a sustainable food system that provides the world population with healthy diet consisting of nutrient-rich food products.