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Whey protein hydrolysate is a type of protein supplement that is made by breaking down whey protein into smaller peptides or amino acids. This process, known as hydrolysis, is typically carried out using enzymes or acids to break the protein down into smaller, more easily digestible components.


Whey protein hydrolysate is often marketed as a fast-absorbing, easily digestible form of protein that can help support muscle growth and recovery. It is a regular part of hypoallergenic infant formulas, and medical nutrition products, due to the ease of absorption. Research suggests that whey protein hydrolysate may be particularly beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders looking to support muscle growth and recovery, as well as for older adults who may have difficulty digesting and absorbing protein.


There are many other types of hydrolysates besides whey protein hydrolysate (WPH). Here are a couple examples:


  • Casein hydrolysate: Similar to WPH, casein hydrolysate is produced by breaking down the protein in milk casein using enzymes. It is often used in sports nutrition products.
  • Milk Protein Hydrolysate: Milk protein hydrolysate is a type of protein supplement that is made by breaking down the protein in milk using enzymes. Milk protein is a mixture of two types of protein: casein and whey. Milk protein hydrolysate can be made from either casein or whey, or a combination of both.


These are just a few examples of the many types of protein hydrolysates that exist. Each type of hydrolysate has its own unique properties and applications.


Whey protein hydrolysate is made from whey protein, which is a byproduct of cheese production. The process of making whey protein hydrolysate involves the following steps:


  • Whey protein is first extracted from milk using a filtration process that separates the whey protein from other components such as fats and carbohydrates.
  • The whey protein is then subjected to a hydrolysis process, which involves breaking down the protein into smaller peptides and amino acids. This is typically done using enzymes or acids that cleave the peptide bonds between the amino acids.
  • The resulting mixture of peptides and amino acids is then filtered to remove any impurities and concentrated to produce a powder.
  • The powder may be further processed to improve its flavor, texture, and other properties. For example, it may be spray-dried to produce a fine, free-flowing powder that is easy to mix with liquids.


Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) has several potential benefits and applications. Here are some of the most notable ones:


  • Faster absorption and digestion: WPH is already partially broken down, so it can be absorbed and digested more quickly than intact protein. This makes it a popular choice for post-workout supplements or anytime fast-absorbing protein is desired.
  • Improved muscle protein synthesis: WPH has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis more effectively than intact whey protein or other protein sources. This can help support muscle growth and recovery.
  • Reduced allergenicity: WPH may be less allergenic than intact whey protein because the hydrolysis process breaks down the proteins into smaller peptides. This can make it a better option for people with dairy allergies or intolerances.
  • Improved taste and texture: WPH has a smoother texture and less bitter taste compared to intact whey protein. This can make it easier to incorporate into food and beverage products.
  • Increased bioavailability of amino acids: WPH has been shown to have a higher bioavailability of certain amino acids, such as leucine, which is important for muscle protein synthesis.