by Matt Weik
We are always on the lookout for something new in the protein category, and it appears we have something to put people’s minds at ease. A hot topic for debate is if you can use any whey protein to bake with or put in hot beverages, or if need a heat-stable version. Well, Glanbia Nutritionals has created a heat-stable hydrolyzed whey protein to allow everyone to breathe a little easier.
Where did it all begin?
Protein powder can get quite boring if you use the same flavor day in and day out. To keep things fresh, consumers are using protein in many different ways to increase the protein content of various foods and beverages. For instance, many consumers are putting protein powder in their pancakes, baked cookies, brownies, cakes, and even their morning coffee as a creamer and sugar substitute.
The main drawback has always been, if the chemical structure of the protein powder changes with the presence of heat and can potentially denature it. When it comes down to it, no, it does not deem the protein worthless in the grand scheme of things. What it comes down to is that the heat (depending on temperature) could lower the total protein content as well as affect the rate at which the body breaks down and absorbs the protein.
For those who didn’t know, during the manufacturing process, majority of whey protein coming from major brands is flash-pasteurized to kill any microorganisms it might contain—which in itself is denaturing the product slightly.
One common complaint about using protein in baked goods is that it can change the texture of the baked good. For instance, when you are baking protein cookies, you may find that the protein powder actually makes the end product extremely dry. You can even see this sometimes when you make your own protein pancakes as well, making them tough and almost rubbery. One thing where you don’t see any change in texture is when you toss some of your favorite protein powder into your coffee. You still get a nice rich and creamy cup of Joe.
Things are heating up
With all of the brands out on the market trying to come out with a protein that puts them on the map and which will explode sales, it’s tough to decide which brand to go with. When it comes to a true heat-stable hydrolyzed whey protein, it appears Glanbia might be the go-to. The main ingredient in their new protein is ProTherma, which they describe as an, “agglomerated hydrolyzed whey protein designed to withstand high temperatures giving it the ability to stay soluble and stable when added to hot water.”
They are mentioning that this new heat-stable protein will be great for things such as:
• Hot chocolate
• Coffee pods
• Coffee creamers
Glanbia also mentioned, “with the growing demand for hot beverages and the continued interest from consumers for protein enriched products, the addition of ProTherma to our portfolio will provide an exciting new alternative for customers and their consumers. We have made it easier to formulate heat-stable and protein-rich ready-to-mix powdered applications.”
Will this create a buzz in the industry and sell?
I’d like to say yes, but from the communication I’ve had with consumers and retailers, they really aren’t asking for a “heat-stable” anything. They know that the protein content might be lowered slightly when heat is present, they also know that it might change the chemical structure ever so slightly. But, at the end of the day, no one is banging down anyone’s doors or protesting for a heat-stable hydrolyzed whey protein. Will it give some users a warm and fuzzy feeling (pun intended) knowing they are using a heat-stable protein source? I’m sure some will feel better. But, the majority of the people will probably never buy it unless it’s added to existing product, which in that case I’d like to see if the price increases.
If no one is asking for a heat-stable protein, and you put it in existing products, increasing the price could completely kill your sales. Is it a cool idea for a new protein? Sure. Is it completely practical? Nope. Most consumers will still use their everyday favorite whey protein for use as a shake—no heat needed. So, the question then becomes… was this product necessary? And will it phase out as quickly as it entered the market? Only time will tell.
Personally, I won’t be heading out to pick any up. I see no reason to. I’m fine with my normal whey protein and very rarely use it in anything hot. Would you rush out to buy it? Let us know in the comments.
1.) NutraIngredients-USA.com. “Glanbia Launches Heat-Stable Hydrolyzed Whey Protein.” NutraIngredients-USA.com, 19 Sept. 2017.