The global Lactose market is projected to reach US$1.4 billion by 2018, driven by growing consumption in food, pharmaceutical, animal feed, and fuel ethanol industries. Consumption patterns are also expected to benefit from the growing demand for Lactose derivatives.
Growing focus on conversion of whey to fuel ethanol is expected to benefit lactose production. Traditionally manufactured through fermenting and distilling starch crops, and cellulosic biomass such as trees and grasses, interest is presently being shed on whey as a potential source for production of fuel ethanol. Liquid whey typically contains over 6% lactose and represents a rich energy source that can be exploited.
Fermentation of lactose present in whey to produce fuel ethanol is gaining in popularity. This thereby is creating increased demand for lactose and is expected to increase the efforts to recover lactose from whey. Opportunities in this space will be governed by the growing popularity of alternative fuel sources, increasing focus on environmental pollution and ensuing legislation of strict emission/environmental norms, and growing R&D investments in developing new fuel ethanol sources.
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