Whey protein has become one of the most popular and safe ways in achieving "optimal health". Whey protein is also used to gain an "edge" is sport related activities along with bodybuilding. But where exactly does whey protein come from? Whey protein is a co-product of cheese, which is naturally in cow's milk. (Vardhanabhuti 1999) However, whey protein is not the only protein available from cow's milk. Casein is the other protein obtained threw cow's milk. Casein accounts for eighty percent of the protein found in cow's milk while whey only accounts for twenty percent. However whey protein is the most beneficial protein out of the two. Actually whey proteins are the best source of protein known to man. The other types of protein such as wheat, egg, casein, bovine colostrums, and ovalbumin do not have the excellent metabolic efficiency that whey has naturally.(Pasin 2000) However, other proteins such soy and egg are a good alternative to whey for people who are dieting or allergic to milk products. Whey protein is also popular to people who are only vegetarians or vegans.
History of whey protein
Not long ago, whey protein was seen as a worthless co-product from cheese which was thrown away. This happened until the early 1990's when bodybuilders realized the nutritional benefits of whey protein. (Neville 2001) Once this happened the "protein bar revolution began to provide a portable and convenient delivery system for specific nutrients such as whey protein." (Neville 2001) Ultra Whey 99 is the protein most widely used because it "provides good-quality protein in a concentrated form with little associated fat or lactose." (Neville 2001) Protein bars are also easy to buy and consume when time is at a minimum.
Methods of Manufacturing
Whey protein can be manufactured threw a process known as ion-exchange. Here the "protein molecules are removed from liquid whey threw chemical binding to specially developed resins, across which the whey flows. The binding is reversible via pH adjustments and the protein is in the eluted material is subsequently concentrated via ultra filtration, a membrane filtration process also used within the micro filtration process. The ion-exchange process results in chemical modifications to the proteins, with much of the nutritionally important calcium being replaced by sodium during the binding/release process."(Neville 127)
During the micro filtration process a pore-size of the membrane is selected which "allows the soluble protein and all the other components to pass through unhindered."(Neville 127) After this process the protein is fed to another filtration process known as ultra filtration. During this process a certain pore-size is selected but small enough that allows lactose and salts to pass threw leaving the protein behind. "Both ion-exchange and micro filtration produced WPI '(whey protein isolate)' the product from the liquid process, is spray-dried into a fine powder."(Neville 127)
Whey protein is manufactured sometimes threw the hydrolysis process to separate the protein into peptides which are also known as amino acid ...