Natural, high-quality whey protein ingredients are ideal for many dairy applications

With the growing popularity of dairy beverages and smoothie-type drinks among busy, active, health-

conscious consumers, as well as increasing interest by the general population in high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, many dairy foods manufacturers are looking for ways to boost the protein levels of foods such as yogurt, dairy beverages and frozen desserts. Whey protein ingredients are ideal for such applications, as whey protein ingredients not only can improve the nutritional profile of dairy foods, they provide functionality, too.

With the advancement of processing technologies, specialty whey protein ingredients such as whey protein isolate and whey protein isolates with bioactive peptides, have been developed that have both functional and nutritional benefits. For example, BiPRO[r] whey protein isolate from Davisco Foods International Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., is a pure, natural source of isolated whey proteins, ideal for formulating a wide variety of dairy foods.

From a nutritional perspective, whey protein isolates are complete, high-quality proteins that originate from cows milk, and provide the body with all of the essential amino acids required by the body. Whey protein isolates contain more than 90% protein on a dry weight basis with negligible amounts of fat, lactose and minerals. The low levels of fat and lactose in whey protein isolates make them ideal ingredients for formulating sugar-free, low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. Whey protein isolates are also rich in the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are important for muscle growth and repair.

From a functional perspective, whey protein isolates are highly soluble over a wide pH range and contribute emulsification, water-binding, thickening, foaming, gelation and film-forming properties to food and beverage systems. Whey protein isolates also happen to be very bland in flavor, making them easy to incorporate into both neutral and low pH dairy beverages, as well as dairy foods. There is no need to mask any off flavors in formulations, because none develop as a result of adding whey protein isolates.

Depending on the formulation (i.e., whey protein isolate usage level, pH and other components in the system), whey protein isolates can be clear in solution. Instantized whey protein isolates are also available for incorporation into dry mix beverages or any application where easy or ready dispersion is necessary.

New application research at Davisco has focused on protein-fortified beverages, puddings, extruded snacks and oatmeal. To take advantage of the film-forming properties of whey protein isolate, spearmint-flavored breath films have been developed.

Whey protein isolates with bioactive peptides are fully soluble and are less likely to gel at high concentrations, such as in protein beverages, compared to intact whey proteins. Because the

bioactive peptides can contribute a slight bitterness to food formulations, chocolate, mocha, coffee and peanut butter are ideal flavor systems for beverage and food products.

The bioactive peptide system BioZate[r] 1 has been shown in a clinical pilot study conducted at the University of Minnesota Hypertension and Cholesterol Research Clinic to significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in non-medicated, borderline hypertensives. Twenty grams of BioZate 1 was formulated into a chocolate-flavored, dry-mix protein beverage to be consumed by study participants. Ideal delivery systems for incorporating BioZate 1 into food products to take advantage of these exciting health benefits include dry powdered beverages, ready-to-drink beverages, puddings, bakery products, confections and oatmeal.

Whey protein isolates and whey protein isolates with bioactive peptides are pure, high-quality, healthful ingredients that provide a variety of functional and nutritional benefits to dairy foods.