Composed of approximately 94% water, 4 to 5% lactose, soluble proteins, fat-soluble and water-soluble mineral salts and vitamins, whey is the liquid resulting from the milk coagulation process. Once processed, this by-product of the cheese industry can be used to produce demineralized whey powder, a dairy ingredient with many nutritional and dietary properties and applications.
The different types of whey
2 types of whey can be obtained, depending on the coagulation methods used:
- Acid coagulation with lactic bacteria produces an acidic whey rich in minerals
- Coagulation using rennet casein gives a milder whey: less acidic and less mineral-rich, and therefore easier to use
Whey and whey protein concentrate
Whey is a valuable nutritional resource because it contains half the dry matter of milk and has good functional properties.
Whey proteins, which account for 10% of dry whey extract, are of great benefit to our health.
Here are the main proteins present in whey and their effects :
|Whey protein||Effects on the body|
|Beta-lactoglobulin (ß-LG)||Whey protein has the highest nutritional value. It can be used as a carrier for vitamin A and D.|
|Alpha-lactalbumin (α-LA)||It stimulates the immune system, and contains antiviral properties and a bactericidal peptide.|
Other: Immunoglobulins (IgG) which are involved in the immune response, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and other enzymes which act as antioxidants or as carriers of amino acids and nitrogen.
Standard whey powder
Whey powder is obtained after the transformation of mild whey. This powder contains all the nutrients found in whey, i.e. proteins, lactose and mineral salts. Perfectly controlled heat treatment maintains the integrity of serum proteins contained in whey.
Demineralized whey powder: what’s the difference?
A demineralization process removes mineral salts from whey. The demineralized whey powder obtained will thus have different applications, according to its mineralization rate. Since demineralized whey powder has a more neutral taste, its application spectrum is also wider than standard whey powder.
By process of separation or fractionation, whey protein isolates are also recovered: WPI and whey protein concentrates (WPC).
In which areas is demineralized whey used ?
In infant nutrition
As breast milk has a mineral content three times lower than cow’s milk, the use of demineralized whey makes it possible to create a composition as close as possible to breast milk. The aim is to avoid an osmotic load that is too high for the infant’s kidneys, which can no longer excrete these minerals. 90% demineralized mild whey powders are used to enrich infant formula and growth formula in serum proteins.
In the food industry
In the food industry, 40% demineralized whey powders are commonly used as a milk substitute or filler, for example in chocolate or bakery products, because:
- They do not produce an overly pronounced salty taste
- They have low hygroscopicity and are highly fluid
- They do not clot and do not undergo a Maillard reaction
- They are easy to store
- They can be certified as halal or kosher
For over 35 years, Armor Protéines has specialized in the production and marketing of dairy ingredients.
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