Dr Joop Kleibeuker secretary general of the European Whey Products Association (EWPA) told DairyReporter.com that there is a lot going on in terms of developing new applications the product, particularly for weight management, satiety benefits and processing use. Awareness Speaking ahead of the 5th International Whey Conference taking place in Paris in September of this year, Kleibeuker said that ensuring real innovation in the market will require improved awareness of the product's benefits from industry and consumers alike. He stressed that whey had long been seen as a secondary product within the dairy industry, used simply as a means of feed for animals or even for fertilisation in the agriculture sector and not as an added-value ingredient. The IPWA says that the conference will look to further dispel these notions, particularly with the impact of high milk costs on the industry. "There is an ongoing process of learning for whey processors, food makers and consumers alike," Kleibeuker said. "We must ask what other functional ingredients can be derived from whey due to the presence of high quality proteins inside." Industry agenda In terms of potential developments high on both the industry and consumer agenda, the EWPA said that the issue of satiety and its impacts on hunger control was of particular importance. In addition, another key aspect of the conference will be on establishing potential links between whey consumption and gut health. As well as possible direct consumer benefit, the applications for whey in terms of processing development, particularly in the potential for product modification using techniques like fermentation, will also be up for discussion, Kleibeuker stated. "There are many different components like calcium phosphate in whey, which can hold benefits for consumers," he added.