Benefits of Using Whey

Never throw whey (a by-product) after making Paneer (An Indian cottage cheese).

Whey is a yellow/greenish liquid which is formed when we coagulate the milk by using some acid such as lemon juice, orange juice or vinegar to make paneer. It is also produced while making shrikhand, channa and yoghurt.

Whey is an excellent source of protein and also contains vitamins, minerals and lactose and therefore, it is highly nutritious [1].

The nutritional benefits are as below:

  1. Rich in essential amino acids, infact whey is considered to be the better source of EAA (essential amino acids) than eggs, meat and soy protein [2,3].
  2. Whey contains large proportion of branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) needed for muscles and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats [4].
  3. When compared to other dietary sources of proteins, whey proteins have highest score of Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acids Score (PDCAAS) which means the digestibility is great [5].
  4. Good source of sulphur containing amino acids such as cysteine and methionine needed for protein structure, protein folding and antioxidant synthesis [5].
  5. Good source of vitamins such as vitamin B2, B3, B1, B5 and B12 [6] .
  6. Good source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and trace amounts of zinc [6].
  7. Good source of lactose which helps in absorption of magnesium and stimulates peristaltic movement in intestine [1].
  8. Due to heat treatment certain amount of lactose is converted into lactulose which promotes bifidobacteria in gut [7].
  9. Good source of immunoglobulins [8].
  10. Good source of energy [2].

In 460BC, Father of Medicine, Hippocrates prescribed whey for gastro-intestinal and various skin infections [5]. Whey was used internally as well as for topical applications.

In mid 16th century, ‘Whey House’ was opened in London and had on their menu whey borse (soup), whey butter, whey cheese, whey porridge, whey whig (herbal tea) [9]. In 19th century, sweet whey became popular at spa centres due to skin healing properties [9].

Unfortunately, in 20th century, whey was considered as waste product by dairy manufacturers. But, the ancient wisdom has transformed the whey from waste into a valuable dairy raw material. Today, whey is used as a functional food and many beverages and supplements are made using whey.

This can be your golden liquid………..just like golden milk.

You can use whey at home:

  1. Knead the dough using whey instead of water, enjoy the soft rotis.
  2. Instead of using water in your curry, use whey.
  3. Make vegetable soup using whey.
  4. Boil lentils in whey instead of water.
  5. Cook rice in whey instead of water.
  6. Use whey in your smoothies.


  1. Nagar S, Nagal S (2013) Whey: composition, role in human health and its utilization in preparation of value added products. International Journal of Food and Fermentation Technology 3: 93.
  2. Ghanshyambhai MR, Balakrishnan S, Aparnathi KD (2015) Standardization of the method for utilization of paneer whey in cultured buttermilk. Journal of Food Science and Technology 52: 2788-2796.
  3. Baba WN, Din S, Punoo HA, et al. (2016) Comparison of cheese and paneer whey for production of a functional pineapple beverage: Nutraceutical properties and Shelf life. Journal of Food Science and Technology 53: 2558-2568.
  4. Ha E, Zemel MB (2003) Functional properties of whey, whey components, and essential amino acids: mechanisms underlying health benefits for active people (review). The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 14: 251-258.
  5. Smithers GW (2015) Whey-ing up the options – Yesterday, today and tomorrow. International Dairy Journal 48: 2-14.
  6. Macwan SR, Dabhi BK, Parmar S, et al. (2016) Whey and its utilization. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 5: 134-155.
  7. Patel S (2015) Functional food relevance of whey protein: A review of recent findings and scopes ahead. Journal of Functional Foods 19: 308-319.
  8. McIntosh GH, Royle PJ, Le Leu RK, et al. (1998) Whey Proteins as Functional Food Ingredients? International Dairy Journal 8: 425-434.
  9. Panghal A, Patidar R, Jaglan S, et al. (2018) Whey valorization: current options and future scenario – a critical review. Nutrition & Food Science 48: 520-535