Protein powder production: what matters
- High quality protein powders thanks to qualitative production
- How is protein powder produced?
- Step by step: protein powder production process simply explained
- 1. raw material: milk
- 2. transportation
- 3. pasteurization
- 4. separation of milk proteins
- 5. microfiltration
- 6. ultrafiltration for Whey Protein Isolate
- 7. drying
- 8. quality testing
- 9. perfect composition
- 10. packaging
- Good to know: this is how much milk is needed to make Whey protein powder.
- How is vegetable protein powder produced?
- Conclusion: The production of protein powders says a lot about their quality
High-quality protein powder thanks to qualitative production
In the fitness and health industry, the demand for protein powders is higher than ever: many amateur and competitive athletes appreciate the protein source for muscle building and performance, or even use protein shakes as a meal replacement. The protein for protein powders comes from different foods, e.g. milk, soybeans or peas. For protein powder production, the protein is extracted from these foods using various methods. The production of protein powder, e.g. Whey Protein, can be very complex.
In our guide, we explain how protein powder is made and illustrate the manufacturing process using Whey Protein as an example.
How is protein powder made?
When it comes to the question of how protein powder is manufactured, it depends on which protein powder we are talking about. For Whey protein powder, for example, whey is treated via microfiltration and drying processes so that in the end the powder is created as you know it for your shakes and co.
Simply explained, Whey protein powder is a byproduct of cheese production. Whey protein is originally derived from the milk of cows, which naturally contain two main types of protein, casein and whey, in a ratio of 80 and 20 percent, respectively. During the cheese-making process, the milk is heated to kill unwanted bacteria. The rise in temperature causes the milk to split into curds and liquid whey.
After separation, the curd is strained, and the remainder is liquid whey. In its original liquid state, whey is a mixture of mainly water with some protein, fat, carbohydrates and lactose. For further Whey Protein production, the whey is filtered and dried in a multi-step process.
Step by step: protein powder manufacturing process simply explained
Whey protein powder - whether concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate - is one of the most popular protein powders on the market, because it is characterized by a particularly high protein content and high value. Whey protein provides your body with all the important amino acids and helps you achieve your goals.
To illustrate the production of protein powder, we show you step by step how Whey protein powder is made.
1. raw material: milk
Whey protein is an animal product obtained from the dairy industry. For the production of our protein powders we pay attention to the best possible quality of the original milk at the raw material suppliers - and you can taste it. In its raw state, milk contains about five percent lactose, four percent fat and 3.5 percent protein.
The next step in Whey Protein production is the onward transport of our raw material. For this purpose, the cooled milk is transported in large cooling tanks to the nearest factory. You've probably seen tanks like this on the streets. If not, pay attention to them!
Freshly milked, milk contains bacteria that can be harmful to humans. It must therefore be pasteurized before it is fit for consumption. To kill pathogens, the milk is briefly heated to high temperatures and then rapidly cooled. The important nutrients in the milk are not affected by the heat, only the bacteria are killed during the process. After pasteurization, the protein in the milk is now 20 percent whey protein and 80 percent casein protein.
4. separation of the milk proteins
Enzymes are now added to the pasteurized milk, which change the structure of the casein cells and cause the milk to coagulate. The main part of the milk turns into curd. This solid part of the milk is used as the starting product for a variety of cheeses. The remaining part is the liquid whey, which is now used for the production of Whey Protein.
As you probably know, there are different protein powders containing Whey - including Whey Protein Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate. Different filtration methods are used to produce these protein powders. The main difference between the individual types of protein powder is their protein content.
For the production of Whey Protein Concentrate, the liquid Whey is filtered so that it has a high protein content. In this step, the whey is further purified to remove fats, carbohydrates and water. This involves passing the liquid whey through a series of microfilters. This processremoves most of the fats and lactose from the liquid whey. The resulting product is the basis for Whey Protein Concentrate.
6. ultrafiltration for Whey Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Concentrate is ultrafiltrated to produce Whey Protein Isolate. Thanks to a so-called ultrafiltration membrane, virtually all fat and lactose are removed from the whey. In Whey Protein Concentrate, the protein content variesfrom 35 to 85 percent in dry matter.[¹] In Whey Protein Isolate, on the other hand, the proportion is around 90percent.[²] and in the case of hydrolysate even somewhat higher, but this does not justify the considerable additional price.[³] Although the Whey is filtered so strongly, it still contains all the important amino acids that make up the high biological value of Whey protein powders. However, the taste of Whey protein hydrolysate does not particularly convince most people, quite the opposite of Whey protein concentrate or isolate.
The protein-rich liquid whey is subjected to a special drying process. Under the influence of hot and cold air, the water is rapidly extracted. This so-called "spray drying" also ensures that the whey does not lose its nutritional value and the protein isnot denatured. After the water contained in the Whey Protein Concentrate has been removed, the resulting product is further processed into powder or flake form.
8. quality inspection
High quality and first-class biological value are the top priorities in our protein powder production. Therefore, the quality of the tasteless Whey protein powder is already tested. The protein content isstrictly measured to ensure that the final product contains the desired amount of protein and all essential amino acids.
9. the perfect composition
This step in the manufacturing process brings flavor into play: the pure Whey Protein raw materials are packaged by the raw material manufacturer and transported to our own production facility, where they are enriched and "refined" with specially developed flavors and other ingredients, among other things. And the result? Our most popular protein powders in many delicious flavors.
The final step before you can buy the protein powder begins: the flavored Whey protein powder is packaged and sealed. Finally, a sample of each batch is sent to a lab that accurately measures the protein content and the amount of fats, carbohydrates, etc.. This is how we make sure you get a protein powder with the best possible quality.
Good to know: this is how much milk is needed to make Whey protein powder.
Would you have known? It takes about 200 lit ers ofmilk to make one kilogram of Whey protein powder. Generally, 100 liters ofmilk yields about twelve kilograms of cheese or about three kilograms of casein.
How is vegetable protein powder manufactured?
In contrast to the manufacturing process for Whey protein powder, the production of plant-based protein powders does not use milk as a raw material, but rather vegan protein sources. These include hemp, sunflower, pumpkin and peas, as well as rice and soy. For the production of vegan protein powders, the individual plant proteins of these food groups are extracted in a similar way to milk.
Conclusion: The production of protein powders says a lot about their quality
Protein powder production requires a lot of effort. By the time pure milk becomes a Whey protein powder, for example, it has gone through several production steps. The purer the protein content and the higher the quality of a protein powder, the more likely you can assume that a lot of effort was put into its production.
This is also exactly the reason why you should be careful with suspiciously cheap offers of protein powders. A good protein powder has its price, but you also get a product with impeccable, biological value, excellent quality and high protein content - convince yourself and test our ESN Designer Whey protein powder!
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