Foods with added protein are still a popular choice among consumers, several years after the protein trend took hold. The difference, today, is that it’s not just the quantity of protein that consumers value. It’s also the quality.
Since 2011, new food and beverage launches with added protein have increasingly contained protein from whey. Figures from Innova Market Insights show whey protein as the clear favourite for the past two years, included in around 35% of global product launches with added protein in 2015.
High scores for protein quality
From a nutritional perspective, whey proteins provide a rich combination of essential amino acids that are easy to digest and absorb. Their high quality is reflected in their Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS). The latter is the measure of protein quality most recently recommended by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
When whey proteins are turned into hydrolysates for use in sports nutrition, they are absorbed even faster, ensuring rapid delivery to muscles. Several studies have documented the ability of whey protein to stimulate muscle growth and their contribution to weight management strategies.
In addition to their nutritional benefits, whey proteins are easy to use in many of the convenient food and beverage products that busy consumers rely on every day. Manufacturers experience a positive impact on taste, texture, stability and shelf life.
This value-adding functionality solves many processing challenges and continues to create new opportunities for innovation in countless food applications.
Whey Better Protein
At Arla Foods Ingredients, whey proteins are our field of expertise. It’s been that way since we pioneered the development of the first commercial whey proteins back in the 1970s. We’ve been researching and documenting their nutritional and functional properties for decades.
You’ll find that expertise in our new series of concepts, including ready-to-drink protein beverages and mainstream sports nutrition products with whey protein hydrolysates.
Together, they make up our Whey Better Protein concepts. Read about them here, and contact us if you’d like to know more.