How Are Casein Proteins Made?

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted: 15 September 2016 

Casein proteins are quite popular with athletes around the world and the benefits of the supplement have been backed up by numerous scientific studies. But how are casein proteins actually made? And how can the manufacturing method affect the effectiveness of your supplement? To find out, please read the information provided by Nutrients Direct below!

What Is Casein Really?

Casein is an umbrella term used for a group of specific protein called phosphoproteins. These phosphoproteins contain high levels of proline residues, an alpha amino acid that plays a trivial role in the biosynthesis of proteins in the human body.

Because of its unique chemical structure, casein can be quite valuable as a food source. Research has shown that casein has the ability to provide amino acids, carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorous. Casein is therefore a very important nutrient to have in your diet.

Where Is Casein Sourced from?

Casein proteins are very similar to whey proteins, because they are derived from milk, so without knowing it, we have been using casein proteins for years. However, the amount of casein present in milk is lower than the casein proteins you will find in a supplement; this is because a supplement is specifically processed to get higher amounts of protein.

Considering casein proteins come from milk, you can expect a variety of benefits that you commonly associate with milk. First of all, casein proteins contain the full range of amino acids, which humans need to keep their body healthy and functioning well.

When you consider that 80% of all protein in milk is casein, and 20% whey, it should give you a better idea of the availability of the casein proteins. Casein is also the solid protein inside milk, which means they are attracted to each other chemically and may cluster together. In order to obtain these clusters from the milk, manufacturers will separate them and dehydrate them to make casein protein powder.

How Is Casein Separated from Milk?

Casein is separated from milk with the help of high temperatures. First, a certain amount of distilled water is added to milk. Then, the mixture is transported into a heat-resistant container which is put under an extremely high temperature. When the temperature has reached its ideal point, the manufacturer will add their preferred substance to make the casein separate from the milk even further.

When the heating and mixing process is completed, liquid is allowed to drain away from the container. The casein is then collected and added to another container, where the entire process is repeated until no more casein can be obtained.

Is Casein Used in Other Products?

The uses for casein protein are pretty much limitless, and you can find this specific protein in a range of products. One of the main uses for casein protein at the moment is cheese production. Because of the fact that casein clumps together, it is a valuable product to add to cheese production, more specifically to keep its consistency. Of course, the curd formed by casein is also used in other dairy products, which includes yoghurt and sour cream.

Another reason why many manufacturers use casein in their products is the reasonable long shelf life casein has. Unlike most of the dairy products you find on the market today, casein has a shelf life of two years, which can provide some products with additional positive attributes.

Isn’t Casein Inferior to Whey?

No, whey and casein are both used by athletes to obtain a very different range of benefits. For example, athletes who need a protein boost for muscle repair after their training are more likely to use whey, mainly because of its fast metabolization properties. Casein is also used by athletes though, more specifically to increase the metabolic rate while sleeping, to supplement missing protein in the diet and much more.

To explain casein protein supplements a little further, we should mention that casein is the supplement that will prevent muscle degradation. If you find you are getting enough protein in your diet, but do not see the results despite rigorous exercise and a healthy nutrition plan, then your muscles may be used to obtain energy during times when protein and amino acids are not available in your body. Using a casein supplement can prevent that shortage, subsequently preventing muscle degradation and keeping you supplied with protein during times when you do not have immediate access to protein-rich foods.

Is the Use of Casein Safe?

Casein supplements are perfectly safe if used in the right dose. Athletes who intend to use this supplement for the first time should first check if they might be allergic, because casein allergies are not all that uncommon. Allergies are usually noticeable in the form of digestive problems, such as stomach pains and diarrhoea. If you experience any of these symptoms during the use of a casein protein, it might be best to look for an alternative source of protein.

Some athletes who are unable to tolerate normal casein proteins, may be able to tolerate a hydrolysed casein powder. Hydrolysed casein has been broken down into smaller peptides during the manufacturing process, which could make digestion easier for those unable to digest normal supplements.

Conclusion

Casein is a safe and scientifically supported supplement, so if you are rather new to the world of protein supplements, it may be a good idea to start with casein, especially if you are missing protein in your diet at the moment. That being said, if you are looking for better results from your workouts, whey protein may be a better bet. Of course, you can always combine whey and protein and spread them over the course of the day. Simply take whey before, during or after your training, and take casein protein just before you are going to be without food for a long period of time.

Data based on vanilla flavour ND Total Whey WPC ND Mass Muscle WPI Calcium Caseinate
Protein per serve (g) 22.2 23 26.2 26.7 28.1
Take For
Type of protein/s Whey Whey Whey & Casein Whey Casein
Carbs per serve (g) 3.4 4.2 26.5 1.9 0.8
Fat total per serve (g) 1.3 1.3 1.6 0.6 0.2
Sugars per serve (g) 3.2 3.2 10.4 1.4 0.3
Serving Size (g) 35 30 60 30 30
Serves per kilo 28 33 16 33 33
Additional Premium Ingredients Amino blend, colostrum, creatine, glutamine   Amino blend, carb blend,colostrum, creatine    
Notes Complete muscle-building formula The least processed budget powder Ultimate Post workout bulking powder Fast absorbing powder Slow release high density powder
Flavours Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural

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