Nowadays it’s very common for active and sporty people to be concerned about both their physical fitness and their overall diet, and the quality of the food we eat is hugely important in this.
Let’s talk about “Native Whey”, the quality of this raw ingredient, and the differences between it and normal Whey.
- 1 What is Native Whey?
- 2 Milk from Pasture-Fed Cows
- 3 How is Native Whey Protein obtained?
- 4 What is Native Whey for?
- 5 What are the Benefits of Native Whey?
- 6 Native Whey Does Not Come From the Cheese Production Process
- 7 Differences Between Native Whey and Conventional Whey Protein
- 8 Denaturation of proteins
- 9 Is Native Whey Protein better than Conventional Whey Protein?
- 10 Conclusions
- 11 What can I buy Native Whey?
- 12 Sources
What is Native Whey?
Native Whey protein is obtained from milk produced by cows that are fed on open field pastures. One of the keys lies in the quality of the milk, which is used as a raw ingredient.
And this is, of course, related to the type of cows and the environment where they’re fed in, free of chemicals, hormones, and other contaminants.
Native Whey Protein is produced directly from fresh milk after its pasteurisation and with an ultra-filtration treatment at a low temperature.
Traditional whey protein is obtained from the manufacturing process of cheese – it’s actually a by-product of the cheese.
Milk from Pasture-Fed Cows
The use of this type of milk as a raw ingredient complies with the 5 points of freedom for the well-being of cattle animals:
- Free from hunger and thirst.
- Free of discomfort.
- Free of pain, injuries and illnesses.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour.
- Free from fear and distress.
How is Native Whey Protein obtained?
As we’ve mentioned, to obtain this type of protein, the raw material, in this case fresh milk from pasture-fed cows, must first be pasteurised in order to eliminate bacteria. This applies to any protein.
While the traditional whey proteins are obtained from the production of the cheese, in the case of this type of protein, it’s extracted directly from the milk using an ultrafiltration process at a low temperature (<10º C).
Filtration at cold temperatures allows the preservation of the native character of the protein (defined as undenatured)
With this method, the casein and the unwanted elements (fat and lactose) are removed, leaving the whey protein with a high level of purity as a result.
Moisture is extracted from the liquid whey concentrate to achieve the desired texture, and this is also where the exact protein content of the raw material is established.
What is Native Whey for?
The purpose of Native Whey is basically the same as that of normal Whey Protein.
However, it’s an interesting choice for those looking for a more natural product, or one with certain ethical implications.
Its main features include:
- Contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass: with special attention in hypocaloric diets (seeking to improve corporal composition), or for older people, to help to limit the loss of muscle as they advances in age (sarcopenia).
- Excellent source of protein for everyone who is looking for a source that contributes to the increase of the muscular mass (find out more), under the guidelines of a nutritional and sports programme focused on this objective.
It is sometimes not possible to consume the sufficient amount of protein, or to ensure the presence of the essential amino acids (nine amino acids that the body cannot produce naturally).
What are the Benefits of Native Whey?
Among the benefits observed in Native Whey, thanks to the unique processing, are:
- Clean ingredients: Raw milk derivatives without hormones and fed with grass. In addition, humane treatment of animals and good agricultural practices are ensured.
- It is only pasteurised once: Avoiding secondary heat treatments that can denature peptides, and it is carried out in a continuous process, without the need for secondary pasteurisation.
- Due to the ultrafiltration other compounds are eliminated (casein, lactose, bacteria…) that, sometimes, cause symptoms such as stomach swelling, flatulence, bad absorption…
- Higher cysteine content.
- The process used to make native whey protein tends to produce approximately 20 percent more of the essential amino acids leucine and lysine.
- It has a cleaner taste, as it is not derived from cheese production.
- High Bioavailability: the aminogram of Native Whey is closer to the amino acid composition of human milk than cheese whey.
Native Whey Does Not Come From the Cheese Production Process
Although still the industry standard, a new technology is emerging, which allows a more ‘gentle’ extraction of whey proteins directly from the milk.
Traditionally, whey has been a by-product of cheese making.
This next generation of whey protein is more expensive than its predecessors, but has certain properties that make it highly attractive, not only to athletes and sportspeople, but to the general public, who are increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining healthy eating habits.
Differences Between Native Whey and Conventional Whey Protein
Native Whey comes from cows fed on pasture, in intermittent stall conditions.
The milk from which whey protein is made is usually from cows housed in barns.
One of the main differences between the two types of protein lies in the raw material.
Basically, we’re talking about processing each product in a different way. Whey protein is a by-product of cheese making.
The processes to which the raw material is submitted is very different.
On the one hand, pasteurisation, which is a necessary process to eliminate unwanted bacteria and micro-organisms:
- Native Whey: the milk is pasteurised once, and from there it is further treated.
- Conventional Whey: it’s pasteurised twice.
As can be seen, the raw material for conventional whey is subjected to two heat treatments, something that negatively affects its taste, miscibility and native structures.
Whey proteins marketed as ‘native whey’ have been produced using a specific filtration technique that separates micellar casein and whey fractions directly from the milk.
Typically, whey proteins are a by-product of cheese production and are extracted using two high temperature pasteurisation steps.
However, it is possible to find manufacturers of Whey Protein who opt for low temperature methods, such as HSN.
Nevertheless, in the case of Native Whey, the extraction of native whey protein directly from the milk can be done by means of ultrafiltration at low temperature, maintaining more bioactive fractions.
A more precise name for the whey protein collected by this method is “microfiltration permeate”
The process used to make native whey protein isolate tends to produce approximately 20% more of the amino acids leucine and lysine, 25% more arginine and 8% more glutamine per 100 grams of the final whey powder.
As is well known, the amino acid leucine belongs to the trio of BCAA (branched chain amino acids).
Glutathione levels in both native and conventional whey protein are maintained.
The result (Native Whey) is a product that seeks to maintain a molecular structure as close as possible to that of the raw material (the whey of untreated milk), providing a superior aminogram.
Nevertheless, some studies found that the nutritional differences between the consumption of one or the other are not very significant.
Denaturation of proteins
Native Whey is produced as a protein of higher value and purity because it keeps its primary structure mostly intact, i.e. it is an Undenatured Protein.
Let’s see what this means. To a certain extent, all whey protein is denatured…
What is Undenatured Protein?
Really, the question should be: do undenatured proteins exist?
We already know that the answer is no, as long as we’re referring to whey protein, not the milk obtained directly from the cow…
Denaturing a protein is a process by which the primary, secondary or tertiary structure of the protein is altered from its natural state, generating a series of changes that vary its functionality.
For example, in infant formula, a hypoallergenic product can be obtained…
When we talk about the serum present in milk, we can also understand the presence of other elements, such as vitamins, minerals or protein fractions.
If we alter the molecular structures, we also cause an alteration of these fractions. These include Beta-Lactoglobulin, and Alpha-Lactalbumin.
All Whey Proteins are Denatured
The processes of homogenisation, pasteurisation or fat removal from the milk significantly affects the composition and structure of the proteins derived from that milk.
Undenatured whey protein is not technically undenatured
Is Native Whey Protein better than Conventional Whey Protein?
Whey protein offers a number of benefits, both for sportspeople and athletes (visit this post to find out more), as for the general population, helping to maintain a high-protein diet, with the benefits associated with contributing to the maintenance and gain of muscle mass and the normal maintenance of bones.
Whey protein is a source of protein, and therefore we should consider it as a food that we can include in our diet in a completely normal way
We’ve summarised the Differences between Native Whey and Serum Protein
Without going into an assessment of the organic origin of the raw material, and the final content of amino acids, I see no reason to underestimate Whey Protein by the “new standard”, as both seem to me to be two good sources of protein providing all the necessary elements to enhance, contribute to and complement a diet.
What can I buy Native Whey?
Further information on the subject:
- Here to find out more about Whey Isolate.
- Whey Concentrate, see more.
- Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, read more.
- Don’t just use the protein in smoothies, find out more uses for it in the kitchen.
- More informations on how to compare whey protein to buy the most appropriate.
- Find out how to buy whey protein smartly.