Whey protein is a natural byproduct from enzyme and acid produced cheese making. Whey protein is a component of all mammalian milk. The percentage of protein in cow’s milk is 3.75%. The total protein content is made up of 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein. During the cheese making process coagulation of the casein protein begins, this is the curd, and what’s left is a liquid stream of whey. In years past, whey was viewed and used as a waste product and sprayed back onto farmer’s crops to add nitrogen back into the soil.
Sometime in the early 80’s it was discovered that whey was a very high quality protein, unique in its amino acid content and biologically active. It was quickly discovered that whey outperformed the gold standard protein, egg white. In fact, on the biological value scale, which measures how much protein consumed is actually absorbed or retained and used by the body, egg white is 100 and whey is 107, so whey really is the gold standard for high protein quality. Whey, in its raw liquid form, contains lactose, fat and cholesterol. So before spray drying if somebody consumed whey protein it also meant one would take in a significant amount of lactose and fat.
Sometime in the mid-80’s two processes were discovered that could concentrate the protein content of the liquid stream, then spray dried to remove the water. One was ion-exchange and the other was micro-filtration. Both these methods consisted of removing the non-protein components so they could be spray dried into a highly concentrated whey protein powder. Two whey protein powders were named: Whey Protein Concentrate and Whey Protein Isolate. Whey Protein Concentrate has a protein content of about 80% and Whey Protein Isolate has a protein content of 90%. New technology developed in 2005 can now isolate whey protein in excess of 95%.
Whey protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair from stressful events, i.e. resistance training, endurance training, life-stressors. Whey is made up of many protein fractions. The main two are Beta-Lactoglobulin and Alpha-Lactalbumin. These two proteins alone make up 75% of the protein content in whey. Other protein fractions include Glycomacropeptide, Lactoferrin, Bovine Serum Albumin, Immunoglobulins, Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme, Relaxin, Gamma-globulins, Lactollin and B-Microglobulin. However, new fractions will be discovered with the progression in new protein isolation techniques.
DESIGNER WHEY® was first to present all the science and benefits of highly bioactive whey protein. They were also the first to do three clinical, university studies on DESIGNER WHEY® versus regular whey protein.
By Shawn Sherwood on behalf of NEXT Proteins’ DESIGNER WHEY® protein powders and drinks. To learn more about whey protein products and get a free sample go to http://www.designerwhey.com/.
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