How is whey protein made? A general manufacturing process
Whey is a food that could easily be made at home if you would have the time, skills and necessary equipment to ensure that the product is complete in its nutrients.
For example: The process can start off with a well fed Swedish cow and her milk, which are the sources of whey for Jotunheim Nutrition. Usually a cow’s milk is made out of approximately 3,5% protein, 4% fat and 4,5% of lactose. It is important to take into account that the standard of Swedish farming is actually much higher than the average European one and positively different than the American one. Animals here have free fields to pasture (the picture below was taken during a stroll in the country-side), farmers put great care into treating the animals well and you are always welcome to visit a farm.
Continuing with the example: Once we select our cow, we extract the milk from her and we undergo a pasteurising process. This raw milk contains certain bacteria that can be harmful to the human gut, at least generally speaking, though there are beliefs that this unpasteurised milk can be beneficial as well if we would be used to it. For more information about the matter; see Sally Fallon on Raw Milk https://www.westonaprice.org/sally-fallon-morell-on-raw-milk/. In order to ensure everyone’s well-being we pasteurise it.
After the pasteurisation process, the milk is cooled at 4°C, a temperature that kills certain bacteria still residing in the milk.
Next step is basically to make cheese (ricotta) out of this milk. This is what whey protein is, a by-product from the process of cheesemaking. Transforming the milk into cheese is done by the process names pasteurisation, after Louis Pasteur, ensuring that there are no bacteria left to breed in the milk. In this process, milk is boiled until its boiling point (70-80°C) and instantly cooled at 4°C (extreme temperatures kill bacteria).
The milk product left after this process is 20% whey and 80% casein.
This is where we actually start the process of making whey.
The pasteurised milk is now going under a process to separate whey from casein via enzymes. Casein in this process is what helps us make cottage cheese or other type of cheeses. When we apply enzymes the milk gets separated in 2 parts, solid and liquid particles. The solid ones will give us cheese having left only the liquid one, that contain whey, fats and carbohydrates.
The liquid product is then filtered through ceramic filters at a cold environment, aiding with the separation of fats and lactose, leaving us with liquid whey.
The last step in obtaining the powdered whey is drying out this last liquid whey via a dryer that hits with both hot and cold air. The result is a powder at around 80% whey ratio. This process allows the whey to maintain its nutritional values without getting denatured.
As you can notice, it is indeed a ‘’process’’, yet the final result is still a natural product you can enjoy safely. Please note that not all whey products are equally safe. This depends on the farming, the health of the animal and the cautious pasteurisation process that takes place at the factory. Jotunheim Nutrition is based in Sweden, using all Swedish ingredients, safe and clean, aiding the farming industry by supporting it directly.
For everyone in Sweden, you can order your whey here: https://jotunheimnutrition.com/