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Whey protein concentrate (WPC)

A full range of whey protein concentrates

WPC: ingredients with excellent functional properties and a high nutritional value

WPC, also referred to as Whey Protein Concentrates  are concentrates of whey with a whey protein content of 15% to 80%. They are ingredients derived from whey. They are made from de-salted and lactose-free whey, to varying degrees. WPC are generally produced by using whey ultra-filtration, and protein concentration can be increased by the use of diafiltration. Drying is usually done by spray (spray drying).

They are used as ingredients for the manufacturing of reconstituted milk products, diet foods or sports drinks, infant foods, and more.

WPC appeared in the 1970s thanks to the use of membrane techniques, ultrafiltration in particular. Today, milk cracking is pushed to its limit with the possibility to isolate specific protein subgroups from which specific functional properties are desired. It is possible to distinguish:

  • WPC 35: these are used as a substitute for skimmed milk powder and as a stabilizer and fat imitator in yoghurt, diet foods, infant foods and pastries. The hydrophilic quality and the gelling properties of WPC are specifically useful in secondary processed products.
  • WPC with high protein content (<50%): these are particularly suitable for nutrition and protein drinks (sports nutrition), diet foods, soups, baked goods, and products with low fat content.

If a higher protein concentration and a lower concentration of lactose is desired, WPI are preferable to WPC.

Click here to discover our WPI here.

Product information

The many physical techniques for producing WPC

Whey protein concentrates are obtained by the removal of non-protein elements of the whey, in order to obtain a powder containing at least 25% proteins and which contains between 30% and 90% proteins in dry matter. They are produced through physical separation techniques such as precipitation, filtration or electrolysis. For the precipitation of seroproteins, the thermocoagulation procedure consists in heating in an acid medium. The first method, which denatures some of the proteins, is usually replaced by a membrane process, consisting in concentrating protein by ultrafiltration. A membrane allows the proteins, fats, and whey to be retained, and lets minerals, lactose and non-protein nitrogen filter through. To obtain concentrated whey proteins, the whey serum is de-fatted beforehand by microfiltration. This is followed by a selective extraction of chromatographic resins by ion exchange.

  • Co-precipitation of whey proteins: heat treatment, then acidification
  • Ultrafiltration: retention of whey proteins and fat
  • Microfiltration: recovery of whey proteins without the fat

Technological properties of great interest

Whey proteins have both excellent functional properties and high nutritional value: the composition of essential amino acids meets all the requirements of human nutrition for which they are therefore considered an ideal protein. The concentration of whey proteins by ultrafiltration is a common practice in the dairy industry.

In addition to their nutritional quality, whey protein concentrates exhibit  technological properties of great interest:

  • Solubility in the range of pH 1 to 8: they can be used in beverages at low pH levels without causing settling, they are also used in pastries and biscuit-making.
  • Water retention capacity: they are used in the meat curing, meat packing, and baking industries.
  • Gelling capacity and flavour trapping under the action of heat treatment: they can replace egg whites for the meat and ready-to-eat meal industries.
  • Substitute for skimmed milk powder: in this case, they are used for dairy and yoghurt.

The functional properties of WPC, many specific roles in the texture of industrial food preparations

Whey protein concentrates are used in various applications because of their many functional properties, which are most associated with whey proteins.

  • Hydrophilic agent/water retention capacity: reduction of formulation costs

Applications: sausages, bread

  • Foaming and whipping ability: stable film

Applications: dietary products, desserts (muslins, whipped cream toppings, etc.)

  • Emulsifying capacity: proteins stabilize fat emulsions

Applications: sausages, soups, ice cream

  • Gelling/viscosity:

Applications: confectionery, soups and sauces

  • Browning: proteins react with lactose and other sugars and contribute to the color of the products when heated (Maillard Reaction).

Applications: Baked goods

WPC offered by the company FIT

  • WPC PS 30%: Whey Protein 30%, 25kg bag, big bag

Whey protein concentrate obtained from sweet whey, ultra-filtered, evaporated and dried on a spray tower to obtain a neutral taste.

  • WPC PS 35%: Whey Protein 35%, 25kg bag, big bag

Very good water retention properties and an interesting texturing power. Can be used to replace the skim milk powder in the manufacturing of yogurt and fresh dairy products. It reduces the phenomena of syneresis and gives a firm texture to the finished products, while reducing their acidity.

  • WPC PS 80%: Whey Protein 80%, 20 kg bag, big bag

This product is a concentrate of soluble native whey protein obtained by ultrafiltration and spray drying of sweet whey.

  • WPC PS 28%: Protein from whey 28%, partially de-lactosed, partially demineralised

Concentrate of native serum proteins produced from cheese whey by concentration, demineralization, and partial de-lactosed.  Spray drying mode.

Products' advantages

Good functional properties
High nutritional value
Solubility in the range of pH 1 to 8:
Water retention capacity
Gelling capacity
Substitute for skimmed milk powder

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