Protein Processing Methods
Microfiltration vs. Ultrafiltration (part
So in part 1, we looked at ion
exchange processing of whey protein. The other type
of processing method involves microfiltration and ultrafiltration.
Micro and ultrafiltration are quite similar. The main difference
between them is the average pore size of the membranes.
Microfiltration membranes are about one micrometer, which
is very small. Ultrafiltration membrane is about 4 times
smaller than microfiltration, at about 250 nanometers (or
Cross Flow Microfiltration Whey Protein
Cross Flow Microfiltration (CFM) is higher in quality compared
to ion exchange. As mentioned in part 1, the chemicals used
in ion exchange denatures some proteins and amino acids.
However, CFM process yields slightly lower concentration
of protein, where natural ceramic filters are used to separate
whey protein from the protein solution. Undesirable components
such as fat and lactose are filtered out. The particles
are separated based on their molecular size and shape.
The key advantage of this processing method includes:
- minimal denaturing of protein
- preserved protein microfractions
- better amino acid profile
- separation of protein without the use of heat or chemicals
- CFM whey protein contains more calcium and less sodium
- does not damage the many immune boosting components
(ie: alpha lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, and GMPs)
- CFM whey has the highest level of undenatured protein
One major disadvantage of CFM whey isolate is that it costs
about twice as much as a whey concentrate! If you're rich,
that's not a big deal, but for the rest of us folks, its
a big deal!
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
Hydrolyzed whey (or whey protein hydrolysate) is usually
a whey protein isolate that have had some of its amino acid
peptide bonds broken enzymatically into shorter chains of
aminos. This leads to better absorption in the stomach.
However, hydrolyzed whey isn't all the popular because of
its horrible taste. The hydrolysis process makes the whey
taste bitter. The level of hydrolysis determines the bitterness
of the protein - more hydrolyzed whey will taste more bitter.
Generally, hydrolyzed whey protein supplements will be no
more than 20% hydrolyzed, as this costs the manufacturer
extra money, and also makes the whey taste worse.
Unfortunately, you'll never know what percent the protein
is hydrolyzed, as the makers will never put it on their
Advantages of Hydrolyzed Whey:
- The most digestible whey protein for human consumption
- Partially pre-digested for better absorption by humans
- Protein molecules are split into smaller group called
While hydrolyzed whey has many desirable qualities, you're
unlikely to find any whey protein supplement that is mass
marketed that contains a high percentage of hydrolyzed whey
- only because marketing to the masses, the supplement companies
worry more about taste than effectiveness. I'm sure we can
say that for many end users as well. Some protein supplements
like Optimum's 100% whey contains some hydrolyzed whey;
however they don't tell you how much.
My Top Choices
So which whey protein supplements do I think are the best,
and get the most bang for my buck? There are 3 choices:
- Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein
- EAS MyoPro Whey Protein
- AST VP2 Whey Isolate
Take a look at our extensive protein comparison guide, comparing
25 protein powders. You'll see why these are my top
choices. However, I were asked to just pick one, I'd go
with optimum's 100% whey. Its something I always get, and
stick with. Its made up of ultrafilter whey, CFM whey, ion
exchange whey, and also some hydrolyzed whey. For the taste
and protein quality this product gives, you can make your
money last alot longer.
As for VP2, is a little too rich for my blood. ;-) I would
consider it one of the top whey protein isolate supplements
out there, but it also costs quit a bit more. For roughly
the same cost, you get 2lbs of VP2 compared to 5lbs of 100%
whey. I guess it's that decision between price and quality.
For me, the extra protein quality doesn't justify the dramatic
increase in price. Don't get me wrong, I buy VP2 once awhile,
just not all the time like I do with 100 whey. ;-)
Click here to Order Optimum 100 Whey
Click here for AST VP2 whey protein isolate
>> Click here for Whey Protein supplements