Press Release Date: 11/28/2008


Upfront Chromatography develops new single-step process for alpha-lactalbumin manufacture from whey

New process eliminates need for clarification or heat-treatment and improves protein purity and cost-effectiveness

Copenhagen, 27th November 2008 Upfront Chromatography A/S, the world’s leading developer of customised industrial scale separation technologies, today announced the development of a novel process for the efficient isolation of the protein alpha-lactalbumin from whey. The protein, used as a supplement in infant formulas, can now be isolated in a single, highly selective and cost effective step by columns using Upfront’s proprietary 2nd generation Expanded Bed Adsorption (EBA) technology.

The new process allows the isolation of high purity protein from sweet and acid whey derived from side streams of cheese and caseinates production. The process brings the level of allergenic proteins in the end product to an absolute minimum. It eliminates any possible contamination with unwanted components such as lipids, carbohydrates, off-taste substances and low-molecular weight adulterants such as melamine. Alpha-lactalbumin is a biologically active protein and it is therefore a major benefit of EBA that the manufacturing process keeps the molecule fully intact compared to previous techniques. The new process developed by Upfront removes the need for harsh heat treatment or clarification steps, which means that the native structure of the protein is preserved while costs are significantly reduced.

EBA columns are designed to operate at high flow rates with crude and unclarified feed stocks. Any insoluble substances, which would create significant issues for a classical packed bed adsorption column, simply pass unhindered through the column. EBA therefore does not require any detrimental and expensive pre-treatment of the raw material, which makes the production of alpha-lactalbumin highly specific, efficient, and very cost-effective. It can also facilitate the production of further value-added products.

“It is a unique feature of our technology that all of this can be achieved in one simple operation and at a very low cost, attractive to the food industry,” says Søren Pedersen, VP of Sales and Marketing at Upfront Chromatography. “We consider this new development exceptionally valuable and have applied for world wide patents on the process. We now intend to license the process for commercial purposes.”

Allan Lihme, Technical Director at Upfront commented: “Our process requires no steps prior to the isolation of alpha-lactalbumin. The remaining whey side-stream is therefore ready to serve as an excellent raw material for production of further food ingredient relevant proteins of very high purity and added value. We have been working with our highly industry relevant production technology for more than ten years and we have proven its economic and functional robustness through large-scale commercial installations in the food industry.”

Alpha-lactalbumin is a protein naturally present in bovine and human milk. The protein is of increasing interest as a supplement for infant formulas in order to bring them as close as possible to the natural human breast milk. This drives the demand for processes that allow isolation of highly pure proteins with no allergenic compounds.


About Upfront Chromatography

Upfront Chromatography A/S is a Danish biotech company serving the food ingredient sector by supplying food processing plants with systems that enable the recovery of high value functional proteins from low value, high volume raw material and waste streams.

For customised separation services, Upfront offers access to its proprietary Rhobust™, universal process platform combined with extensive technical and regulatory support. From a feasibility study to commissioning of the final installation, Upfront works with its customers to develop adsorbents, ligand chemistry, columns and other hardware to optimise process performance.


For further information, please contact:

Upfront Chromatography A/S

Natalya Clark,

PR/Marketing Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Upfront Chromatography A/S - Oliefabriksvej 51 B, 2770 Kastrup, Copenhagen, DENMARK- Email:

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