Several projects were carried out during the year, with an emphasis on the development of new products and processing processes related to dairy products, especially whey and skyr. The projects were carried out with a good group of partners. A way to dry skyr was developed, which is an excellent way to increase its shelf life.
At least two projects outside Matís can be seen as the offspring of this work. A total of 60 million liters of whey are produced in cheese and skyr production in Iceland each year, so it is important to develop ways to utilize this valuable resource. These include the development of creams from whey constituents and the development of a method for converting lactose from whey to ethanol. Microorganisms can be used to convert lactose into ethanol, and Matís 'research showed that the longest-acting microbe for this was a yeast that had previously been isolated from skyr and was preserved in Matís' archives. The bacterium is highly active in both the neutral environment of the cheese whey and the acidic environment of the skyr whey. The bacterium completely converts the lactose to ethanol and this powerful strain has been named Kluyveromyces marxianus Islandicus. Great value creation can be expected with the production of ethanol when it has been introduced into Icelandic alcoholic products on the market, but they are now produced with imported sprouts. In this way, the products can be fully produced with Icelandic raw materials. In addition, this gives hope that it will be possible to offer foreign partners in skyr production a complete solution by producing ethanol from the by-product of skyr production, thus increasing the value of the production and reducing the negative environmental impact.