A whey protein isolate is a dietary supplement and food ingredient created by separating components from whey. Whey is a milk by product of the cheese making process. Whey can be processed to yield whey protein in three forms: Whey isolate, Whey concentrate or whey hydrolysate. The difference between the whey protein forms is the composition of the product, particularly the protein content. Whey isolates contain the highest amount of pure protein virtually lactose free, carbohydrate free, fat free and cholesterol free.
Whey proteins are highly bioavailable, are very quickly absorbed into the body and have a higher concentration of Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are highly concentrated in muscle tissue, and are used to fuel working muscles and stimulate protein synthesis.
Whey isolates have had their base component (water) removed and are generally considered almost lactose and cholesterol free – they are typically at least 90% pure protein.
Two separation methods are widely used. One method utilizes ion exchanges which extract native whey protein from the whey stream according to the surface charge characteristics of the molecule, also known as the zeta potential.
Takeaway for whey protein:
- High concentration of branch chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- A higher concentration of pure protein (at least 90%)
- Low carbohydrates, fat, cholesterol and lactose. Virtually free from all of these by-products from milk.
- BCAAs help with protein synthesis.
- Bye product of the cheese-making process.
- Highly effective and cost-efficient compared to other protein supplements.