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Many people have heard of whey protein, but few know where it comes from or how it is made. And there is lots of uncertainty about whether whey protein is a synthetic or a natural supplement. Let’s clarify this before we move on: whey protein, which comes from cow’s milk, is a by-product of the cheese-making process and is indeed a natural protein source. In fact, 60% of the protein in breast milk is whey protein (the other 40% is casein protein). This short blog sheds some light on where your whey protein powder comes from and how it is made.
There are two major proteins derived from cow’s milk: whey protein (20% of the total protein content) and casein protein (80% of the total). Every day, fresh milk from dairy farms is transported to cheese processing facilities. At the cheese facility, enzymes are added to the milk causing it to separate into solid curd (casein) and liquid whey. Curd is used to make cheese and liquid whey (which was historically a waste product!) is used to make whey protein powder. You’ve probably seen liquid whey many times – it is the watery layer that settles on top of yogurt. This liquid contains only 0.6% protein by weight – it takes 145kg of liquid whey to make 1kg of finished whey protein powder!
In the second step, liquid whey is transported from the cheese processing facility to a protein manufacturing plant, where it undergoes a filtration process to remove lactose (milk sugars), fats, minerals and water. This process transforms liquid whey into whey protein liquid (confusingly similar names, but different substances). The third and final step involves drying the whey protein liquid to remove the remaining water, leaving behind whey protein powder.
So fresh milk goes through a separation process, a filtration process and a drying process to produce whey protein powder. Although whey protein is a processed food, it is not chemically modified and is therefore considered a natural food supplement. How could your whey protein lose its ‘natural’ tag? The addition of artificial flavouring, artificial colouring, chemicals or hormones. While our whey protein uses a small amount of zero-calorie artificial sweetener (widely used as a sugar substitute in foods and beverages), it is GM-free, hormone-free and uses 100% natural flavouring and natural colouring. Furthermore, the milk is sourced from free-range, grass-fed cows.
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Our whey protein is a premium quality, UK-manufactured protein powder sourced exclusively from the world-renowned Müller dairy in Germany: the world’s leading producer of whey protein. All milk used in the production of our whey protein products are sourced from free-range, grass-fed cows and is GM-free and hormone-free. Each 25g serving provides 20g of 100% whey protein, including 4.4g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and 3.3g of glutamine. All our whey protein products use 100% natural flavouring and are suitable for vegetarian, halal and kosher diets.