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Dry Whey

Dry Whey Standard

v 4.0 | Effective 07/04/2023

Product Definition

Whey is the liquid substance obtained by separating the coagulum from milk, cream, or skim milk in cheesemaking.  Dry Whey is the substance obtained by the removal of water from whey, while leaving all other constituents in the same relative proportions as in whey.

Dry Sweet Whey shall have not greater than 0.16% titratable acidity on a reconstituted basis.  Dry Acid Whey shall have greater than 0.35% titratable acidity on a reconstituted basis.

Dry Whey complies with all provisions of the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Standard: Printable PDF
Composition for Extra Grade Dry Whey
Dry Sweet Whey Dry Acid Whey
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
Fat % 1.5 maximum
Total moisture % 5.0 maximum
Scorched particles (1) mg/25g 15.0 maximum
Titratable acidity (2) % 0.16 maximum 0.35 minimum

(1) Scorched particles requirements ordinarily appear in ADPI Standards in the section defining Other Characteristics, but they are included here because they are integral to the established USDA requirements for Extra Grade.

(2) Titratable acidity is not part of the basis for grade determination but is included only to differentiate between sweet-type and acid-type whey products.

Other Characteristics of Extra Grade Dry Whey
Physico-chemical Properties
Dry Sweet Whey Dry Acid Whey
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
Color and appearance visual uniform color, off-white to cream; free-flowing, free from lumps that do not break up under slight pressure; practically free from visible dark particles
Flavor sensory normal whey flavor, free from undesirable flavors, but may possess the following flavors to a slight degree: bitter, fermented, storage, and utensil; and the following to a definite degree: feed and weedy
Microbiological Analysis
Dry Sweet Whey Dry Acid Whey
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
Standard plate count CFU/g 30,000 maximum
Coliforms CFU/g 10 maximum
Optional Tests for Extra Grade Dry Whey

Other tests which may be made on Dry Whey products (not mandatory for grade designation, but, if determined, must comply with the limits as indicated) are:

Dry Sweet Whey Dry Acid Whey
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
Protein % 11 minimum
Alkalinity of ash mL 0.1 N HCI/100g 225 maximum n/a

When it is determined that Dry Whey:

  1. fails to meet the requirements of Extra Grade (3);
  2. fails to meet the requirements of any Optional Test, when such test has been made (3); or
  3. has been produced in a plant found on inspection to be using unsatisfactory manufacturing practices, equipment, or facilities, or to be operating under unsanitary plant conditions;

then it shall not be assigned a grade.

(3) When tested in accordance with the standardized methods of analysis contained herein

Additional ADPI Specifications

ADPI imposes the following additional requirements on Dry Whey:

Dry Sweet Whey Dry Acid Whey
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
Yeast and mold CFU/g 100 maximum
Enterobacteriaceae (4) CFU/g 10 maximum
Salmonella genus CRU/sample (5) not detected
Staphylococcus (coagulase positive) CFU/g not detected (6)
Listeria genus CFU/g not detected

(4) The food industry is trending toward Enterobacteriaceae (“EB”) as the most commonly used category of indicator organisms for gauging general process sanitation.  For compliance with this Standard, coliforms shall be utilized for compliance with the USDA Extra Grade requirements, while EB may be used at the discretion of the manufacturer.

(5) Typical minimum sample size for Salmonella testing is 25 g, but the exact sample size and methodology is left to the discretion of the manufacturer.

(6) Where the effective limit of quantitation for the test is 10 CFU/g (such as when a dilution factor of 10 is applied) then the test result must be not detected in order to comply with this Standard.  Where the testing method is capable of quantifying microbial counts below 10 CFU/g, then a compliant result must be a value less than 10 CFU/g.

Codex Alimentarus Specifications for Dry Whey

Codex requirements for Dry Whey are as follows:

Dry Sweet Whey Dry Acid Whey
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
Protein % 11 minimum 7 minimum
Moisture % 5.0 maximum 4.5 maximum
Lactose % 65 minimum n/a
Ash % 8.5 maximum 15.0 maximum
Titratable acidity %
0.16 maximum
6.0 minimum
0.35 minimum
5.1 maximum
Permissible Additives

Dry Whey may be pH adjusted with an appropriate mineral or organic acid or base.  Any pH adjustment agent used for this purpose shall be food grade and shall be used in accordance with U.S. current Good Manufacturing Practices and in accordance with its GRAS status, where applicable.

Preservatives are not permitted in Dry Whey.

Product Labeling

Recommended identifications:

Dry Sweet Whey


Dry Acid Whey


Dry Whey ___% titratable acidity


for Dry Whey over 0.16%, but below 0.35%, titratable acidity on a reconstituted basis; where the titratable acidity is declared as the actual percentage, and where the supporting analysis must also be supplied.

Methods of Analysis
Parameter Reference Method
Protein AOAC 991.20 (N x 6.38)
Fat AOAC 989.05
Total Moisture AOAC 925.45
Scorched particles ADPI
Titratable acidity AOAC 947.05
Alkalinity of ash AOAC 941.07
Standard plate count SMEDP
Coliforms SMEDP
Yeast and mold FDA BAM
Enterobacteriaceae FDA BAM
Salmonella AOAC
Staylococcus AOAC
Listeria FDA BAM

Dry Sweet Whey is typically used in bakery products, process cheese products, frozen desserts, sauces, meat emulsions, salad dressings, beverages, confections, gravies, soups, meat products, snack foods, and others.

Dry Acid Whey is typically used in bakery products, prepared dry mixes, dry blends, salad dressings, snack foods, frozen desserts (sherbets), and others.

Product should be stored, shipped, and utilized according to the manufacturer’s established recommendations.  As guidance, product should be stored and shipped in a cool, dry environment with temperature below 80°F and relative humidity below 65%.  Stocks should be rotated and utilized in accordance with the manufacturer’s established date of expiration or retest.

Multiwall kraft bags with polyolefin inner liner, or other suitable closed containers (e.g., totes) are typical.

Additional Resources

Additional resources including the Dried Dairy Ingredients Handbook and more are available for ADPI members. Click the button to log-in to access these resources.

In no event shall ADPI be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to: the need to procure substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the publication, use of, or reliance upon any standard, even if advised of the possibility of such damage and regardless of whether such damage was foreseeable.



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