Protein Powder is one of the most commonly consumed substances among those who either hit the gym or are on a diet. The reason behind this is that doing so enables them to take protein in its purest, most fortified form.
While there are several means for you to take in protein through foods, such as meats and dairy products, the intake of such ingredients would not enable you to take it in the optimal form, as it can come with other unhealthy substances, such as carcinogens, cholesterol, and unhealthy trans-fats.
There are several ways for you to know how a given protein powder is made. The manufacturing processes usually involves an intricate array of extractions and refinements, just to make sure that only the best, finest powder is extracted, and that it is perfectly soluble in water, and therefore, easy to consume.
How Protein Powder is made
The process of extracting or isolating protein is one that greatly depends on several factors. The source of choice for the raw material is the primary decider when it comes to the manufacturing process employed.
Moreover, this protein can be fortified with an assortment of vitamins and minerals to suit the ones it is manufactured for.
Choosing the Source
This is the first step when it comes to making protein powder, of course. It is one that is not hard, given that there are just so many sources of it, both plant- and animal-based. The most common sources for protein in protein powders include Pea, Hemp, Soy, Cranberry, Milk, Egg, Rice, and Artichoke.
The source of these depends mainly on the brand and the type of protein powder being manufactured. For gluten-free powders, Soy, Pea and Rice are the popular sources while Milk, Eggs and Whey are usual sources for most commercially available powders.
This process of making protein powder entails the separation of protein from the rest of the food source. There are several ways for you to achieve this, such as washing with alcohol, water, or through an ionization process. The methods for extracting the isolate has varying costs, with water being the cheapest and ionization being the most expensive.
Once the protein has been isolated, it then gets filtered to make sure that only the purest protein is left. Inevitably, other substances, such as fat, fibre, carbohydrates, and certain phytochemicals will remain.
The rotein isolation process is an effective means of maximizing the amount of extracted protein, given that it yields as much as 95% net weight.
The concentration process involves subjecting the raw materials to intense heat, and the extraction of acids in such a way that the original protein source is reduced to pure protein as much as possible. This process, however, may not be as effective in its entirety , given that cholesterol, lactose, and fat can still make it through, and that the end results only yield as much as a 70% net weight of protein for each serving.
Hydrolizing of Proteins is one of the most familiar means of extracting protein, and is also one of the most expensive, and thus Protein Powders with Hydrolyzed Protein are some of the more costly types of Protein Powders in the market. Despite the high cost, you can be assured still that the process is done to increase absorption.
The process works by hydrating the protein polymers, and dissolving them into peptides, or smaller protein groups. This means that the protein is pre-digested, and thus is absorbed by the body quickly as compared to other Protein Powders made using other processes.
This extraction process for Protein is primarily used in the processing of milk as a protein source, and involves an intricate ion exchange system through chemical charges. This process is one which is rarely used in other substances but milk.
The question of how protein powder is made is one that does not have a single answer. Certain processes for extraction may be more efficient for one substance compared to another.
The more protein is extracted from the source, the better an extraction process it is. Moreover, the more expensive brands are a strong indicator of a higher protein percentage per serving.