What is Whey Protein Concentrate and How Is It Made?


With consumers looking for healthier, more natural food options when grocery shopping, dining out, or even just grabbing a snack from the local convenience store, food manufacturers are looking for ways to add a healthy boost to their formulations.

According to a Nielsen report, 55% of U.S. consumers say that high protein plays a major role in their food buying decisions, and more than 5 million Americans follow a high-protein diet. At the same time, about half of American adults say they attempt to lose weight and become healthier each year.

Food manufacturers can meet the demand for more protein and diet-friendly products by including functional whey protein in their formulations. The ingredient can replace high-fat and often costly dairy ingredients like milk, butter, cream cheese, and even eggs—all while maintaining the same flavor, texture, and appearance of their original formulation.

To help explain how that’s all possible, let’s start with where whey protein comes from and how it’s made.

What is Whey Protein?

Whey is naturally found in milk and is separated out during the cheesemaking process. During cheese production, protein from the whey can be isolated from the liquid mixture, leaving producers with the healthiest form of protein available, and quite adaptable as well. When compared to plant-based proteins, whey protein has been proven to be superior in regards to digestibility, sustainability and nutritional value, as seen in the chart below.


How is Whey Protein Concentrate Made?

When comparing ingredient suppliers, it’s important to consider how they produce their whey protein concentrates, as the facilities and results can vary widely.

Unlike some commodity whey protein concentrates, Grande Custom Ingredients Group has a proprietary process for making its products, and uses only Grade A Milk from dedicated Midwest dairy farms as part of a strict chain of custody.

Click to See the Entire Whey Protein Concentrate Process [Infographic]

What is Functional Whey Protein?

What sets Grande Bravo® functional whey protein apart from commodity whey protein like WPC34 is that it is produced without chemical modifications as part of an all-natural process that results in more desirable functionality in different products, like a creamy mouthfeel, fuller texture, and improved shelf-life stability.

To give you a better idea of what we’re talking about, check out this demonstration video using our Grande Bravo functional whey protein:


Is Whey Protein Concentrate a Natural Ingredient?

When people hear the words “whey protein concentrate,” it’s easy to assume something was done to modify the protein. In Grande Bravo’s case, however, it simply means that the protein has been physically modified, not chemically modified in any way. Much like other natural processed concentrated food products like frozen juices, tomato paste and granulated sugar, whey protein concentrate is also all-natural, and manufacturers can tout it as such—it can even be used to reduce or replace non-natural fillers and other ingredients.

Food Applications Using Whey Protein

In addition to being an all-natural source of high-quality protein, another one of the advantages of Grande Bravo is its ability to be used in a wide variety of applications. Here are just a few real examples of how it can be used today. Click each one to learn more:

Benefits of Using Grande Bravo®

When you think about all the benefits that come with formulating your applications with whey protein, it’s easy to see why it has become so popular in the food industry. Today’s consumers are willing to pay more for food with wholesome ingredients they recognize and trust, and all-natural whey protein ingredients make it easy for food manufacturers to clean up their labels and replace artificial ingredients. Grande Bravo also makes it easy to reduce fat and calories in your applications, as well as improve or maintain texture and mouthfeel thanks to its superior water-holding capabilities.

Using Grande Bravo functional whey proteins can also help lower the cost of ingredients by providing a safe, consistent, low-cost alternative to cream, butter, fat, cheese, and eggs which are susceptible to price volatility. It can also help decrease handling issues and improve nutrition. Grande Bravo can even be used to make an emulsion.

Taste the Grande Difference

While it’s easy to talk about the proven benefits and qualities of Grande Bravo functional whey protein, the best way to find out how it will work in your applications is by testing it for yourself! From soups and sauces to dips and dressings, there’s no shortage of applications that can benefit from functional whey protein.

Want to try it in yours? We’ll be happy to send you a sample and help show you how to get started! Contact one of our food scientists and you’ll see why the right combination of people, products and expertise is the best whey to naturally improve food.

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