How is Whey Protein Made? Surprising Facts You Need to Know

Making whey protein is likely simpler than you think. It starts with cow’s milk, which is heated (to remove any bacteria) and separated into curds and liquid whey. The liquid whey is then shipped to a manufacturer, filtered, and dried into a powder form that we know as whey protein. At that point, it’s ready to be packaged and shipped to you for all your weight loss and muscle building goals. 

In this article you will learn:

How Whey Protein is Made

Interestingly enough, whey protein comes from the liquid by-product of cheese-making. Milk consists of two proteins: casein and whey. During the cheese-making process, after the curd is strained, the remaining liquid is whey. Fun fact: for every one pound of cheese made, you can make nine pounds of whey!

Here's the step-by-step process of how whey protein powder is made:

  1. Whey protein begins at the dairy farm with cows producing milk.
  2. The milk is then refrigerated and shipped to the cheese-makers.
  3. When the milk arrives at the cheese-making facility, it is quickly heated (pasteurized) to remove any potential pathogens and bacteria.
  4. From there, it gets introduced to enzymes that separate the whey (liquid) from casein (solids).
  5. The casein is then used for cheesemaking and the whey goes to a manufacturing facility.
  6. There, the liquid whey is filtered to remove the fats and carbs (lactose), becoming whey protein concentrate.
  7. And finally, the liquid whey concentrate is spray dried with hot and cold air to become a powder. Then it's bagged and shipped to you!

Would you like to learn about Organic Whey Protein and why it’s worth it? Check out this article.

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How Natural Force Makes Organic Whey Protein

Here at Natural Force, we’re all about making high-quality supplements without artificial ingredients that care for you and care for the planet. It’s as simple as that!

In the humble beginnings, our founders, Joe and Justin, discovered that the whey protein supplements on the market were chocked full of additives, sugars, and potential antibiotics.

Knowing the harmful effects that non-organic whey can have on our bodies and the planet, they decided to create an organic, grass-fed whey protein that not only reflected their core values, but that they themselves would use.

They began by calling manufacturer after manufacturer, searching for one that could create an organic, grass-fed whey protein powder up to their standards. But Joe and Justin kept receiving a “no” from every supplier they contacted because this type of product didn’t exist.

Unwilling to take no for an answer, they decided to think differently and go straight to the source: cheesemakers.

They began calling organic cheesemakers with hopes of finding one that would agree to sell them raw, liquid whey. After an exhausting amount of calls and Google searches, they found exactly what they were looking for: a family farm in Northern California that would produce organic whey, sourced exclusively from 100% grass fed pasture-raised cows.

After figuring out how to get a refrigerated truck to haul the liquid to get dried into a powder, our Unflavored Organic Whey Protein was born, along with a great farmer relationship!

6 Surprising Facts About Whey Protein

Now that you know how whey protein is made, here are a few surprising facts you may be curious about! 

1. Whey Protein is Very Low in Lactose

Whey protein contains dairy allergens since it's made from cow's milk, however, it's generally very low in lactose.

Our Organic Whey Protein, in particular, contains less than 1g of lactose per serving and our customers with lactose intolerance have told us they tend to tolerate our whey protein very well! This is likely due to the fact that our whey comes from high quality, organic A2 milk.

(Please consult with your physician before taking any nutritional or dietary supplement, especially if you have allergies)

2. Our Whey Protein is Keto

We can't speak for all whey proteins (especially those that add sweeteners), but at just 3g of carbs per serving, our Organic Whey Protein is Certified Keto, making it a convenient way to add more high-quality protein to your diet!

3. Our Whey Protein is not technically Paleo, but it is Paleo-Friendly

Because whey protein is made from dairy it's not technically paleo, but the Paleo Foundation has certified our Organic Whey Protein Paleo-Friendly because of our rigorous quality standards. You can feel good knowing our Whey Protein is free of:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Added sugar
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavorings
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Industrial seed oils

And the cherry on top is that our whey comes from grass-fed and pasture raised cows, treated with the highest standards of animal welfare.

4. All Whey Protein Sold in the U.S. is Not Raw

This one is pretty straightforward. The FDA requires the pasteurization of all milk (and therefore all milk products) sold for human consumption. Pasteurization requires heating milk well above the temperature for something to be considered "raw" (118°F to be exact), and therefore, no whey protein sold in the U.S. is truly raw.

5. All Whey Protein Sold in the U.S. is Denatured

All whey protein powders are denatured because, as you just learned, pasteurization is required by law. But being denatured isn't a bad thing because it doesn't compromise the health benefits of whey!

Denaturation simply means the molecular structure of an item is altered or changed. This can happen by heating (i.e. frying an egg), a chemical reaction (i.e. pickling an egg in vinegar), or by mechanical force (i.e. scrambling an egg with a fork).

These reactions are not strong enough to break the primary structure (aka the bonds that hold together the protein's unique sequence of amino acids) so you can rest assured that the essential qualities of the protein remain the same. This means the benefits of the protein are not lost, but may actually be improved after denaturation.

6. Whey Concentrate is Different From Whey Isolate

That's right, whey comes in different forms, which you can use to maximize your specific goals! Whey protein isolate is filtered even further than whey concentrate to increase the protein content, making it an ideal choice for athletes and bodybuilders. Curious about which type of whey is better for you? We wrote an in-depth article comparing the two.

Have you tried our Organic Whey Protein? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

UP NEXT: Organic Whey vs. Regular Whey Protein: What to Know Before You Buy

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