We explain the different manufacturing processes of Whey Protein and what you should pay attention to when buying.
Intensive muscle training and regular protein intake at the right time and in the right amount are considered a guarantee of success for successful muscle building and targeted fat loss. Whey protein powders
are becoming increasingly popular to meet protein requirements. Already about 20 g whey protein (approx. 8 g – 10 g essential amino acids) are sufficient to increase muscle protein synthesis to the maximum.
What is Whey Protein Anyway?
Whey protein is a natural, high-quality dairy product that settles on the surface during cheese production after the mass (casein) has been extracted. Milk contains two protein sources: Whey Protein (20%) casein protein (80%). By special filtration methods, this
whey is concentrated and processed into a powder. The price often does not show the quality of protein powders. When purchasing protein, make sure
that pure whey protein is used. Protein mixtures from various protein sources usually contain cheaper raw materials. You can buy whey protein in three forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate.
The Whey Protein Species
Whey Protein Concentrate
The ultrafiltration technique (membrane filter) achieves a protein content of between 70 – 80% in the Whey Protein concentrate, a fat content between 3 – 5 % and a reduced lactose content. Pure whey protein concentrate, contains about 20 g protein on 25 g powder.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Isolate has a protein content of 90-96% and a fat and lactose content of less than 1%. In whey protein isolate, a distinction is made between CFM whey isolate (cross-flow microfiltration) and normal whey isolate (ion exchange). Whey hydrolysate is nothing more than enzymatically broken down protein into shorter peptide chains. Whey hydrolysate is very expensive and brings no greater benefit than whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate. Pure whey protein isolate, contains about 20 g protein on 22 g powder.
The manufacturing processes of Whey Protein
In this commonly used manufacturing process of whey protein, the amino acids are divided according to their electrical charge. Chemicals are used for this purpose. The electrical charge of the proteins binds this to special resins in a reaction container. The big advantage of this process is that it is significantly more cost-effective than cross-flow microfiltration. This separation process can cause the loss of valuable, health-promoting protein fractions (including lactoferrin and glycomacropeptides).
Cross-flow microfiltration (CFM)
No chemicals or heat are used in this gentle filtration process. This guarantees the highest possible preservation of the valuable, health-promoting protein fractions that can be lost during ion exchange. The ceramic membranes retain undesirable components such as lactose or fat due to their molecular weight and size, and thus the protein content can be increased. This form of whey protein is, therefore also suitable for lactose intolerant individuals.
When purchasing Whey Protein Isolate, ensure that CFM (cross-flow microfiltration) is declared on the package. This whey protein manufacturing process is the gentlest. Also, your whey protein powder should not have been additionally mixed with any amino acids. Also, L-glutamine is often added. This amino acid is very cheap and only increases the manufacturer’s margin and not your muscle protein synthesis.