Formulating with Whey Protein for Maximum Health Benefits, Functionality and Taste

Posted on:January 2, 2019


2018 PTT fwp/Formulating with Whey Protein for Maximum Health Benefits, Functionality and Taste - Chris Lockwood

The type(s) of whey product selected for a formulation depends not only on the finished flavor, nutrition profile and price goals, but on the demographic target selected, as well.
Click to Enlarge

AT THE OUTSET of his presentation, “Formulating with Whey in a Fully Transparent Market,” Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., President, Lockwood LLC, described some of the advantages that protein possesses, including its function as the only major nutrient to stimulate muscle building (muscle protein synthesis, or MPS). Just a few of the many advantages of consuming more protein, in comparison to fat or carbohydrate, is that it promotes greater thermogenic effects, hunger reduction, and body fat and weight loss when combined with a calorie-restricted diet.

Whey protein [for sports nutrition] is most often classified in one of three ways: As whey protein concentrates (WPC), whey protein isolates (WPI) or whey protein hydrolysates (WPH). Filtration and other purification processes are used to produce WPC and WPI, with WPI containing 90% or higher total protein. The final composition of WPH is influenced by enzymes and reaction conditions used, as well as the number of available bonds that are broken. Generally speaking, the greater the degree of hydrolysis (DH), the smaller the number of amino acids per peptide molecule and the more challenging the taste issues.

In an overview of its beneficial effects, Lockwood noted that whey stimulates muscle growth and elicits significant anabolic response to weight training. A study designed to assess rapidly digested proteins (i.e., whey and soy) and slowly digested proteins (i.e., casein) found whey to be 93 and 18% more effective than casein or soy, respectively, for MPS in men at rest (Tang, JE, et. al. 2009. J Appl Physiol./ ). Following exercise, whey consumption resulted in 122 and 31% greater MPS than casein or soy. “These differences have largely been attributed to how quickly the proteins are digested and the leucine content in whey,” said Lockwood. “The faster the rise in blood amino acids, the greater the peak and total MPS response,” he explained.

“Whey can improve recovery speed, so you can exercise more and recover more quickly,” noted Lockwood. He illustrated findings in a study of 10 resistance-trained men who had been supplemented with WPI, soy protein isolate (SPI) and a maltodextrin-placebo control for 14 days, and then performed an acute heavy resistance exercise test (Kraemer WJ, et al. 2013. J Am Coll Nutr./ 

Whey rapidly and significantly lowered the catabolic steroid hormone cortisol during recovery, whereas soy significantly decreased the post-exercise levels of the anabolic hormone testosterone. “The research for my Ph.D. work revealed that people consuming 30g of whey, regardless the form, twice per day, significantly increased muscle mass,” stated Lockwood. An extensively hydrolyzed WPH, also reduced body fat without significantly affecting total body weight (Lockwood CM, et al. 2017. J Am Coll Nutr./

Further work confirmed that a moderately hydrolyzed WPH vs. its intact (nonhydrolyzed) WPC significantly elevates markers of fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and reduces markers of protein breakdown (Roberts MD, et al. 2014. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab./

These effects may be explained by observations showing that plasma amino acids rise more rapidly as a result of some forms of WPH, compared to when consumed as an intact WPC (Morifuji M, et al. 2010. J Agric Food Chem./ “A study in 10 men also found that whey provided a significantly greater stimulation of insulin release than soy, and that the moderately hydrolyzed WPH tested was significantly more insulinotropic than intact whey. This collectively suggests that certain peptides and the amino acid composition unique to whey—and not just leucine or its fast absorption—as being behind this protein’s superior effects on human physiology,” Lockwood stated.

Lockwood acknowledged that there has been a movement to plant-based proteins by the food industry for many reasons. However, he stressed that “whey is the bodies first protein—it is the predominate protein in mother’s milk to support offspring development and growth.” Additionally, Lockwood indicated that whey is vegetarian; sustainable and renewable; can be certified non-GMO and/or organic; and is gluten-free.

There are many categories of whey available, and Lockwood noted that his research used a 32-degree DH derived from an 80% whey protein concentrate, “which is about as high as you’ll want to go, because the bitterness becomes overwhelming,” he noted. And, although less allergenic and seemingly more efficacious in terms of overall clinical health outcomes, the higher the DH, the more expensive the product becomes.

When a combination of a favorable taste profile plus speed to market are considerations, the best options include WPC, WPI and low-DH (<10%) WPH.

“Formulating with Whey in a Fully Transparent Market,” Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., President, Lockwood LLC

This presentation was given at the 2018 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar. To download free presentations and the Post-conference summary of this event, go to

See past and future Protein Trends & Technologies Seminars at

Plant Protein Drives Ingredient Innovation

Posted on:December 18, 2018
2018 PTT fwp/Anusha Samaranayaka - Plant Protein Demand Drives Ingredient Innovation

Click to Enlarge
Plant proteins provide a wide array of functionalities in various applications. Properties will vary, depending on the method used to process the protein ingredient.

TRENDS DRIVING CONSUMER demand for plant proteins include health and wellbeing; the desire for plant-based and clean label products; and concerns related to food security and sustainability. The number of opportunities to use plant-based proteins will grow, as the number of novel protein types grows, as well. Choosing the right plant protein for a formulation depends on several factors, from source availability and cost; to functionality and taste; to nutritional considerations—as well as consumer perception and the presence of anti-nutrients.

“In comparing plant proteins with egg and other animal proteins or in trying to replace them, the first and most important challenge is the taste,” said Anusha Samaranayaka, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, POS Bio-Sciences, in her presentation “Plant Proteins: Opportunities, Challenges & Tips for Successful Use in Formulations.” “No matter how functional or how the protein ingredient looks, it doesn’t fly if it doesn’t taste good,” she added.

Careful consideration about the protein source being used in the creation of an ingredient is crucial. Functionality and taste are very important; however, when processing an ingredient, co-products also merit a consideration. Cereals and pulses are composed of about 50-60% starches and fibers. If the goal is to make a protein ingredient using a raw material containing 25% or less protein, finding an application for these co-products is a must; it’s not economically feasible otherwise, Samaranayaka noted.

Variables at different stages of plant protein ingredient production affect flavor, functionality and quality of the ingredient. These stages include growing, harvesting and storage; extraction, fractionation and drying; further processing, such as fermentation, germination and physical, chemical or enzymatic modification; and formulation parameters, such as temperature, pH and mixing. For instance, “protein content deviates with the climate and soil, and even the maturity of harvesting; this affects downstream processing,” explained Samaranayaka. If it’s difficult to remove the seed coat during dehulling—for example, if the seed is not mature—off-flavor notes can occur in the final product. The extraction and fractionation techniques, and most importantly the protein drying technique, are very important in creating these functional protein ingredients, as is further processing, she added.

The molecular structure of plant vs. animal proteins differs. Cereals and pulses mainly have globular, storage proteins, while meat, egg and milk proteins have more soluble and fibrillar-like proteins. Understanding different plant proteins at the molecular level helps in creating processes to effectively extract and isolate the functional proteins of interest. It is also helpful in use of enzymatic, chemical or physical methods to further modify protein ingredients’ functionality.

“Establishment of standard methods for assessing the protein functionality and creating a functionality database of different protein ingredients available would really help food formulators in selecting protein ingredients for their specific needs,” suggested Samaranayaka.

Researchers and food companies have had some success with product modifications to see if plant proteins can replace animal proteins in products. “These process modifications additionally help remove some of the anti- nutrients and off-flavors. Processing also improves the digestibility of these proteins,” Samaranayaka stated.

One example is the creation of meat analogs or alternate meat products. Since most plant proteins have a globular structure, rather than the fibrous structure of meat muscle, they won’t provide that “bite” that is typical of a burger. What can you do? The globular structures must be unfolded, and the proteins aligned, so as to make aggregates that come close to the structure of fibril proteins. That’s what techniques like extrusion can do, continued Samaranayaka.

Plant proteins can also be used in non-dairy beverages, but protein modification via controlled enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis is often needed to improve the protein’s solubility. Improving the solubility helps make the beverage’s texture, consistency and mouthfeel more appealing to consumers.

The composition of each plant protein type differs, as does its inherent flavor and protein functionality. If changing the raw material source or the process used in protein ingredient preparation does not produce the needed flavor and texture in the final product, the food formulation stage can also be used to improve both flavor and textural issues. Approaches include incorporation of a physical or chemical process; or of additives, such as flavor masking agents, companion flavors and/or stabilizers.

Most importantly, finished formations should be presented to consumers in a way that is appealing in flavor and texture. “It’s a complicated story. Growers, food chemists, ingredient manufacturers and formulation scientists have to work together to come up with these crave-worthy creations using different plant protein sources,” Samaranayaka concluded.

“Plant Proteins: Opportunities, Challenges & Tips for Successful Use in Formulations,” Anusha Samaranayaka, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, POS Bio-Sciences

This presentation was given at the 2018 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar. To download free presentations and the Post-conference summary of this event, go to

See past and future Protein Trends & Technologies Seminars at

Allergenic Potential of Novel Proteins

Posted on:December 6, 2018
2018 PTT. fwp/Steve Taylor - Allergenic Potential of Novel Proteins

Allergenicity of botanically related species, such as peanuts, peas and soybeans, gives researchers cause to test for the abundance of – and amino acid sequence structure of these proteins, as well as cross reactivity and digestive stability.

IN A RICHLY illustrated presentation with global and historical examples on the topic of “Food Allergies: A Challenge for Current and Emerging Proteins,” Steve Taylor, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Food Allergy Research & Resource Program at the University of Nebraska, discussed a key concern that food manufacturers need to keep in mind when using novel proteins in food products: Can novel food sources of proteins be allergenic?

“It’s inevitable,” says Taylor.

Certain foods have long been recognized as allergens. The “big 8” allergens, which include milk, eggs, fish, crustacea, wheat, soy, peanuts and tree nuts, cause about 90% of allergic food reactions in the world. Other countries include additional foods, such as sesame seed, mustard, celery, buckwheat, molluscan shellfish and lupine on their lists of allergens. While the importance of the “Big 8” allergens is not debatable, data on prevalence, potency and severity to support the inclusion of these other foods on allergen lists may be limited.

When new proteins are introduced as foods, allergenic reactions in some individuals will inevitably occur. As precedent, Taylor cited the emergence of soybeans as a novel food source in the U.S. in the 1930s. While soybeans had been consumed in Asia for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 1950s, when soy-based infant formula was developed for milk-allergic infants, that soy allergies were recognized in the U.S. Ironically, some children with milk allergies also had allergic reactions to soy.

Reactions to multiple allergens are usually due to cross-reactivity to a similar antigen found within different foods. Sometimes the allergenic potential of novel proteins can be predicted because of their similarity to other allergenic proteins. Lupine, a legume that has historically been used in cattle feed, is botanically similar to peanuts. Because lupine has not been genetically modified, it has been widely adopted as a soy replacement in the European Union and Australia. Lupine protein can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals with peanut allergies, which raises a labeling conundrum: Do you warn those with peanut allergies not to eat the food, when only about 20% of Europeans with peanut allergies also have lupine allergies?

Cross-reactivity can also make it difficult to pinpoint the precise allergen that triggers a reaction, especially when cross-reactive allergens with differing potencies may be present. Taylor described severe allergic reactions that occurred in peanut-allergic individuals who consumed a soy-containing muscle-building supplement. Taylor’s group demonstrated that there was no peanut (a highly potent allergen) present; instead, very high levels of soy protein in the product likely caused the reactions. Soy protein has a low potency that appears to share cross-reactivity with the peanut allergen.

Proteins that demonstrate allergenic cross-reactivity may also be challenging to distinguish analytically. Pea protein is surging in popularity right now and may have allergenic cross-reactivity with peanuts. The analytical challenges in differentiating pea vs. peanut protein have elicited food recalls for potential peanut allergen presence—even though pea, not peanut, was present.

It’s important to remember that not all adverse reactions associated with novel proteins are allergic reactions. Quorn is a fungal mold product that is high in both protein and fiber and is popular in the U.K. In some individuals, the high fiber content of Quorn can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms that may be confused with allergic reactions.

As consumer appetite for protein grows, novel proteins will continue to be developed. Determining the allergenicity of new proteins can be difficult and expensive. However, knowing whether the food product has already been shown to be allergenic (in other parts of the world where it is consumed) and whether the food is related to known allergenic foods (i.e., is it a legume?) may help predict whether a novel protein could have significant allergenic potential.

“Food Allergies: A Challenge for Current and Emerging Proteins,” Steve Taylor, Ph.D., Co-Director, Food Allergy Research & Resource Program at the University of Nebraska

This presentation was given at the 2018 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar. To download free presentations and the Post-conference summary of this event, go to

See past and future Protein Trends & Technologies Seminars at

Consumer Demand Spurs Innovation in Protein Based Products

Posted on:November 20, 2018
2018 PTT fwp - Consumer Demand Spurs Innovation in Protein Based Products

Growth in plant-based beverage entries have leveled off (e.g., almond milk)—a sign of saturation. Meanwhile, meat substitutes climb steadily, and plant-based, spoonable yogurt intros have increased, as new brands enter the marketplace.

RESEARCH REVEALS that consumers continue to seek foods that provide a good source of protein, whether that protein comes from a traditional source or new, innovative products. “Consumers are interested in protein, but they also understand they can get it from a lot of foods,” said Lynn Dornblaser, Director, Innovation & Insight, Mintel, in the opening presentation “Trends & Takeaways in the [Still] Hot Protein Marketplace.”

Although a growing number of products talk about having a good source of protein, being high in protein and/or or having added protein, what often happens is that consumers simply look at the grams of protein per serving on the nutrition label. Protein claims most often appear in categories where they are not expected. Consumers are conflicted. They want animal-based protein, and they want plant-based protein.

According to Mintel research, the top three reasons consumers eat plant-based protein are because of taste, health concerns and to avoid processed foods. Some 70% say plant- based protein is healthy, and 53% say plant-based foods are better for the environment than animal-based options. However, 57% also say that plant-based foods are more expensive than other foods. On the other hand, 67% say meat is essential to a balanced diet. Men are more likely than women to agree. However, only 51% say a meal is not complete without meat.

In the U.S., the top six categories of new product introductions that make the most protein claims are “snacks,” “dairy,” “fish, meat and egg products,” “meals and meal centers,” as well as the miscellaneous categories of “other beverages” and “other.” Delving further into individual subcategories, Mintel finds that only five subcategories account for more than 50% of all new product introductions. They are “snack/cereal/ energy bars,” “spoonable yogurt,” “prepared meals,” “meal replacements & other drinks” and “meat snacks.”

Growth in the meat substitutes category has spurred new product introductions, new company partnerships and much innovation. For instance, the producer of Beyond Meat® plant-based burgers, made with 20g of protein, has a partner— Tyson Foods. This is just one of a number of animal-based protein companies joining with a plant-based protein company, said Dornblaser. “This illustrates how companies that make and process animal protein under-stand the importance of plant protein in the marketplace,” she added.

What is on the horizon for new products with protein claims? Dornblaser offered several predictions. For one, there will be more foods made with plant-based protein, particularly new sources of ingredients. Also, more beverages made with egg protein will be introduced, especially if they’re made from eggs that don’t make it to the store because of size or shell discoloration.

Additionally, cellular agriculture is already in the development stage at some companies. “In Europe and North America, developments that engineer, rather than harvest, food and drink staples, such as laboratory-grown meat and animal-free dairy have grabbed headlines. But the resulting products are often expensive, and some are still years away from widespread commercial availability,” said Dornblaser.

“We [hear] lots of talk in the industry about insect protein, but for the U.S. market, it would surprise me if we see much beyond niche companies making products with insect protein,” said Dornblaser. “Think about it; we can’t get U.S. consumers to eat dark meat chicken, how can we get them to eat insects, even if its cricket flour, without visible particulates reminding them of bugs? We’ll see what happens, but clearly for other parts of the world, eating insects and insect parts isn’t that big of a deal,” she added.

While new foods made with plant proteins and meat and dairy substitutes continue entering the market, U.S. customers shouldn’t expect to see lab-grown meat or insect protein at significant levels in the marketplace anytime soon.

“Trends & Takeaways in the [Still] Hot Protein Marketplace,” Lynn Dornblaser, Director, Innovation & Insight, Mintel

This presentation was given at the 2018 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar. To download free presentations and the Post-conference summary of this event, go to

See past and future Protein Trends & Technologies Seminars at

Clean Label Challenges

Posted on:November 15, 2018
2018 CLC/Jerome Diaz - Clean Label CHallenges

Sugar’s multi-functional role in foods, such as confections, makes sugar reformulation a complex process.

In addition to its role in modulating taste, aroma and color, Sugar Serves as both bulking agent and texture modulator. It affects flow properties, crystallization, as well as interfacial and network formation in complex food systems. A presentation by Jerome Diaz, Ph.D., Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research, discussed the interaction of sugar along with other ingredients in complex food systems.

Sugar functionalities in specific food applications were compared with clean label alternatives. Specifically, challenges in confectionery and beverage applications were highlighted, and the utility of thermodynamic models in sugar reformulation were described. The presentation was valuable for product developers intending to successfully reduce, replace and reformulate sugar under a clean label framework with the goal of hastening time-to-market of high-quality, clean label, sugar reformulated consumer products.

“Overcoming Clean Label Challenges in Sugar Replacement, Reduction and Reformulation,” Jerome Diaz, Ph.D., Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research

This presentation was given at the 2018 Clean Label Conference. To download free presentations and the Post-conference summary of this event, go to

Page 11 of 47« First...910111213...203040...Last »

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


    Recent Tags

    Copyright© Global Food Forums®, Inc 2018 / all rights reserved