The majority of whey protein does not come directly from milk
For the sake of transparency, we have detailed everything you need to know about whey proteins. Nutrimuscle answers your questions on the subject.
Cheese whey: unclear whitening!
Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of whey protein is not derived directly from milk.
They go through an additional step of making cheese and recovering the resulting liquid waste (whey or whey proteins).
We talk about cheese whey because it comes from cheese factories as opposed to real native whey coming directly from the milk of a dairy such as the whey sold by Nutrimuscle.
Cheddar, one of the best-selling cheeses in the world
Cheddar is the favorite cheese of the Anglo-Saxons. It is also found in fast food restaurants in the form of a chewy plate in cheeseburgers. Millions of tons of cheddar cheese are produced.
This therefore results in tonnes of cheese waste which will be recycled in the form of cheese whey.
However, cheddar is a special cheese, because of its color which is not natural. It is obtained by adding a more or less intense orange color. This coloring will not only color the cheese, it will also color the whey.
The result is a very yellowish whey protein, unsaleable as it is.
How to whiten whey?
In order for the final whey not to be yellowish, and therefore to go from unsaleable status to a very white whey that appears "pure", it must be bleached!
The most popular solution, because the least expensive, is to treat the whey with benzoyl peroxide. Peroxide is the bleaching chemical that causes a person with brown or even black hair to turn platinum blonde.
The more peroxide you put in, the more effective the bleaching is, especially since in the United States there is no legislation regarding the level of residues resulting from this chemical reaction. (1)
Toxic chemical residues
All scientific analyzes agree on this point: following bleaching, there are always traces of various toxic products in whey, particularly benzoic acid, a chemical preservative. (1-2)
Even if there is little of it, keep in mind that whey is a supplement that you will consume over a long period of time, every day, or even several times a day. The goal of taking whey protein is to nourish your muscles, not to drink from chemicals of known and well established toxicity.
A chemical aftertaste
Bleaching not only leaves toxic residues in the whey, it will also alter the taste. (3-4-5-6)
The whey then takes on a strong chemical taste due to several factors:
1 - The taste of the chemical residues that we have just mentioned.
2 - Molecular modifications in the protein, due to the chemical reaction (7)
It will therefore be necessary that the protein manufacturers add even larger doses of synthetic sweetener in order to mask this aftertaste and sell a protein as delicious as they promise in the advertising.
The consumer must realize that this good taste is obtained at the expense of the quality of his whey.
We reheat the whey unnecessarily
The degradation of the protein does not stop there, because to effectively whiten the whey, it is also necessary to heat it over a more or less long period, which will degrade, quite unnecessarily, the amino acids which compose it.
Unfortunately, the more effective whitening is desired, the more strongly the protein must be heated (8)
Whey protein: conclusions
The only real guarantee that your whey has not been bleached is to use only dairy whey rather than the overly classic cheesy whey.
Dairy whey does not have to be blanched, as it does not go through a cheese factory where it would have been colored during the making of cheddar cheese.
You have to be especially careful that your whey comes from across the Atlantic, because the chances that it has been bleached are then increased tenfold. (5)
(1) Listiyani MA. Influence of bleaching on flavor of 34% whey protein concentrate and residual benzoic acid concentration in dried whey proteins. J Dairy Sci. 2011 Sep;94(9):4347-59.
(2) Chang J.E. Reactions of Benzoyl Peroxide with Whey. Journal of Dairy Science Volume 60, Issue 1, January 1977, Pages 40–44.
(3) Jervis M.G. The influence of solids concentration and bleaching agent on bleaching efficacy and flavor of sweet whey powder. Journal of Dairy Science Volume 98, Issue 4, April 2015, Pages 2294–2302.
(4) Kang EJ. Alternative bleaching methods for Cheddar cheese whey. J Food Sci. 2012 Jul;77(7):C818-23.
(5) Jervis S. Effect of bleaching whey on sensory and functional properties of 80% whey protein concentrate. J Dairy Sci. 2012 Jun;95(6):2848-62.
(6) Croissant AE. The effect of bleaching agent on the flavor of liquid whey and whey protein concentrate. J Dairy Sci. 2009 Dec;92(12):5917-27.
(7) Jervis SM. The impact of iron on the bleaching efficacy of hydrogen peroxide in liquid whey systems. J Food Sci. 2013 Feb;78(2):R129-37.
(8) Listiyani MA. Effect of temperature and bleaching agent on bleaching of liquid Cheddar whey. J Dairy Sci. 2012 Jan;95(1):36-49.