U.S. Dairy Products > Whey Protein & Ingredients
The fat that is separated from liquid whey before it is further processed that contains about 2% phospholipids. Phospholipids are found in the fat cell membrane of milk and are composed of fatty acids and phosphate. These phospholipids have important emulsifying and nutritional properties. This is a fairly new ingredient, and several whey suppliers are offering this in either dry or condensed form. Whey phospholipids can be used in beverages, baked goods, ice cream and functional foods.
Whey protein is the ingredient of choice in formulating today's foods and beverages because of its superior flavor, nutrition, versatility and functionality. These qualities help food and beverage formulators solve their product development challenges and answer consumer trends, especially for higher-protein products. Whey protein is a value-added ingredient offering superior functional benefits - a clean dairy flavor plus texture, gelling, foaming, emulsifying and browning capabilities.
Whey protein’s unique nutritional composition may provide unique health benefits.
Emerging research suggests that higher daily intakes of high-quality proteins and their amino acid components, especially the higher amounts of leucine found in whey protein, may help people on a reduced-calorie diet preserve lean muscle mass while burning fat more effectively than those who just cut calories while consuming lower amounts of protein.
Preliminary studies show whey protein may offer advantages in lowering blood pressure. There also are some suggestions of protection against infections and viruses.
In addition, whey protein is a high-quality protein. It contains all of the essential amino acids in the proportions that the body requires for good health. Whey protein has the highest biological value of any protein, meaning it is efficiently used by the human body (104 for whey protein vs. 100 for eggs, 74 for soy protein and 54 for wheat).
If a whey protein concentrate (WPC) is described as hydrolyzed, it has been treated with enzymes to break down either the protein or the lactose into smaller components.
Hydrolyzed WPC is useful in infant formulas and other special dietary applications to speed digestion and reduce possible allergies.
If a WPC is protein-hydrolyzed, it delivers more peptides and free amino acids. WPC can also be lactose-hydrolyzed. This means that the lactose has been broken down into simple sugars, making it easier to digest for those who may be lactose-intolerant.
BCAAs are unique because they can provide an energy source to muscles during endurance exercise. They are metabolized directly by skeletal muscles during prolonged exercise, while other amino acids are metabolized in the liver. Numerous studies have demonstrated that BCAAs improve protein synthesis and reverse overnight muscle tissue catabolism. Whey proteins contain the highest concentration of the BCAAs - leucine, isoleucine and valine - available from any protein source.
One of the major advantages of adding whey ingredients is that they improve the performance of a food or beverage product, creating such desirable properties or reactions as:
Solubility - whey proteins are extremely soluble, making them excellent for beverage applications.
Water binding - traps water in meats, sausages, cakes and breads, helping to keep products moist.
Viscosity - adding whey thickens soups, gravies and salad dressings, controlling texture.
Gelation - forms and sets protein matrixes in meats, baked goods and cheeses.
Emulsification - using whey forms and stabilizes fat emulsions for sausages, salad dressings, soups, cakes and infant formulas.
Foaming - creates a stable film for chiffon cakes, desserts such as meringues and mousses, and whipped toppings.
Browning - the protein in whey reacts with lactose and other reducing sugars during baking or cooking to produce the desirable, eye-appealing browning in baked goods.
Glycomacropeptide (GMP) is a casein-derived whey peptide. This peptide is released by rennet during the manufacture of cheese or rennet casein. Purified GMP and GMP-rich whey protein concentrates are currently available in the U.S. market. This product is sometimes also called caseinmacropeptide (CMP).
Beneficial biological roles attributed to GMP or peptides derived from it include stimulation of cholecystokinin (a hormone regulating energy and food intake) release from intestinal cells, inhibition of platelet aggregation and support of beneficial intestinal bacteria (i.e., bifidobacteria). Studies have also shown that GMP may help to reduce dental caries.
GMP-rich whey protein concentrate is also a good source of branched-chain amino acids, which have been shown to promote lean muscle development.
Glycomacropeptides contain no aromatic amino acids and no phenylalanine. This makes GMP suitable for diets in the treatment of patients with phenylketonuria.
Acid whey, with a pH less than or equal to 5.1, is produced during the manufacture of cottage cheese, ricotta and cream cheeses and has applications in such products as salad dressings and snack foods that require a savory flavor profile.
Sweet whey, with a pH of 5.5 or greater, is created during the manufacture of rennet-coagulated cheese (Cheddar-style and Swiss-style cheese curds).
Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is produced by concentrating, using filtration, the protein components of pasteurized whey and is used to simultaneously enhance protein fortification and functionality of a food product. For instance, WPC with a 75% protein content can be used as a replacement for egg whites. WPC typically contains 34% or more protein.
Whey protein isolate (WPI) is manufactured in a manner similar to WPC, but with a resulting concentration of 90% or more protein.
Reduced-lactose whey has a lactose content of less than 60%; the lactose is removed through filtration, dialysis or precipitation.
Demineralized whey may be created by drying whey that already has been processed to remove a portion of its mineral content via precipitation, ion exchange, electrodialysis or membrane filtration. Reduced-mineral whey cannot contain more than 7% ash.
Whey proteins are value-added ingredients that offer food and beverage manufacturers great taste, unsurpassed nutrition and superior functionality in a variety of applications.
Whey proteins are high-quality and complete. Complete proteins are important because they contain all the amino acids required by humans, helping to build and repair tissue; create antibodies, hormones and enzymes; and provide energy. Whey protein has the highest biological value of any protein, meaning it is efficiently used by the human body (104 for whey protein vs. 100 for eggs, 74 for soy protein and 54 for wheat).
The functional benefits of whey proteins include a neutral dairy flavor plus texture, gelling, foaming, emulsifying and browning capabilities.
The unique nutritional composition of whey proteins may provide unique health benefits. Emerging research suggests that higher daily intakes of high-quality protein and their amino acid components, especially the higher amounts of leucine found in whey protein, may help people on a reduced-calorie diet preserve lean muscle mass while burning fat more effectively than those who just cut calories while consuming lower amounts of protein. Preliminary studies show whey protein may offer advantages in lowering blood pressure. There also are some suggestions of protection against infections and viruses.
Whey refers to the watery portion of milk remaining after coagulation of the casein proteins (the process commonly known as "curdling") occurs. The exact makeup of whey is dependent on the source of milk and the manufacturing process used. Whey commonly includes a rich blend of lactose (a carbohydrate sometimes referred to as "milk sugar"), most of the milk minerals, some of the milk fat, and most of the soluble, non-casein milk proteins known as whey proteins.
Whey is created during the cheesemaking process when fluid milk, which includes caseins and whey proteins, is turned into cheese with the addition of specific bacteria and enzymes. As these bacteria metabolize the lactose in the milk, lactic acid is produced.
This lactic acid reduces the pH level of the milk from around 6.7 to a level of approximately 5.3, which causes the casein proteins to coagulate. Due to their structure, whey proteins do not denature at pH 5.3, however, they are trapped within the casein gel that forms. Cheese manufacturers cut this gel, releasing most of the whey and accompanying proteins from the casein curd. The whey is drained from the curd and used for processing into a variety of ingredients. Producing a pound of cheese results in about nine pounds of whey.
Whey is dried through a variety of processing techniques. The use of a dry product instead of a liquid whey simplifies use, handling and storage, and has a longer shelf life. Different processing procedures affect whey's caking tendency, lactose crystallization rate which can affect crystal size, and mass of crystals which affects whey quality, freewater content and other factors important to food technologists. Whey manufactured by different methods and suppliers may function differently in applications. It is important to find a whey ingredient that works best with your application.