The transparency of whey, a matter as opaque as it is acidic
New types of whey have recently emerged. They are called Clear Whey (translucent or transparent whey). Are they more effective because of their novelty?
An invisible super-whey
As their name suggests, once diluted in a liquid, Clear Whey leave no trace; they are invisible! But does their invisibility make them more efficient?
No, because it is still whey from cheese origin. So why does Clear Whey sound so revolutionary? Quite simply, because they perfectly solve the problems encountered by manufacturers of ready-to-drink protein shakes.
Since these drinks must be sterilized before putting them on the market, the high temperature experienced by the protein cooks some of the whey, which creates residue that falls to the bottom of the bottle. These deposits are perceived as waste by consumers, who shy away from these drinks.
Clear Whey VS Classic Whey
There are two big differences between classic whey and Clear Whey.
- Centrifuged to remove insoluble protein aggregates.
- Made very acidic in order to perfectly amalgamate with the liquid and to be able to undergo the heat treatment without coagulating.
On average, Clear Whey have a pH that must be below 4 (the lower the pH, the more acidic the protein). Above a pH of 4, the heat treatment inevitably produces residues. By comparison, Nutrimuscle's Native Whey Isolate has a pH of 6.5. It is therefore significantly less acidic.
Problems with Clear Whey
Here we see a fourfold problem inherent in Clear Whey:
- They are ultra acidic, which is not good, neither for the stomach nor for your blood pH which will acidify as much.
- They are of cheese origin, therefore denatured and of poor quality.
- Due to the addition of several additional manufacturing steps, they are more expensive.
- In ready-to-drink protein shakes, the mandatory heat treatment will further degrade the quality of the protein.
Clear Whey: in conclusion
For engineers, Clear Whey is an astonishing technological achievement. For sales people, Clear Whey provides an additional selling point since they try to make believe that a protein that dilutes well is necessarily a protein of very high organic quality. But for the athlete, Clear Whey turns out to be a step backwards for both his muscles and his wallet.
LaClair CE. Ingredients and pH are key to clear beverages that contain whey protein. J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):C21-7.
LaClair CE. Turbidity and protein aggregation in whey protein beverages. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):C526-35.