Anhydro, which launched the Triple-A dryer at the Anuga FoodTec expo last week, said it designed the new machine primarily for whey protein concentrate and high and low-fat whey blends, as well as baby food and milk powders.
Many in the dairy industry predict whey, with its calcium and water-soluble vitamins, will have a bright future in dairy as firms look to add value to products.
"We are very skilled in drying whey and understand the complexity of a mix of different whey products," said Arne Petersen, general manager of Anhydro's dairy and food division, to DairyReporter.com.
He said the Triple-A machine had several advantages, including rapid payback for customers and its ability to "cover a range of products better than any other supplier", but added there was less and less money in commodities like skimmed milk powder.
Dairy firms were increasingly interested in added value ingredients. "The old days of dairy drying are behind us and we have to adapt," he said.
The European Commission recently predicted production of dairy commodities in the EU, like milk powders and butterfat, would fall by 2012. It has already begun cutting prices and support for commodities as part of its Common Agricultural Policy reform.
The move is an attempt to enlarge the added value dairy sector across the bloc.
Whey is set to be an important source of extra income within this trend, and has already been used in sports nutrition and functional food sectors.
Big dairy firms, including Arla Foods, Lactalis and Friesland Foods, are among Europe's biggest whey producers. The EU is the world's second largest producer, churning out 159,000 MT of the total 359,000 MT in 2004.
Anhydro said its new Triple-A dryer's shape was specifically designed to cope with sticky products like whey, by reducing deposits that often collect at the base of the drying vat.
The machine can also be customised to meet the growing variation in demand for specific qualities and particle size on the market, the firm said.