Whey is a by-product obtained from the cheese-making industry. This by-product is the primary source of high-value products such as whey protein concentrates and lactose. The partial removal of water from the whey is the first step in the recovery of lactose. Then, lactose in the concentrated whey is forced to crystallize through a cooling stage. This conventional process of crystallization is very slow up to 72 h accompanied by the generation of a mixture of lactose types (α, β, and amorphous) and low yield of lactose. These issues have been addressed through the seeding of lactose, the antisolvent crystallization, and more recently, by the crystallization of lactose assisted with low-frequency power ultrasound. Sonocrystallization is known to have a number of specific features that include the enhancement of the primary and secondary nucleation, as well as the development of smaller crystals with more uniform sizes and higher purity. Nowadays, there are a number of studies that provide relevant information on the effects of ultrasound on lactose crystallization, although some of these effects are still not fully understood. This book chapter discusses the current knowledge on lactose sonocrystallization and describes the basic principles of lactose crystallization and sonocrystallization.
Part of the book: Technological Approaches for Novel Applications in Dairy Processing