Whey Protein Types

Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)

The amount of protein in whey protein concentrate can vary between 25-89%.  The whey protein powder supplements that you find in health and nutrition stores often list whey protein concentrate on the label.  This type of whey protein is usually 80% protein.  The rest of the product consists of lactose (4-8%), fat, minerals, and moisture.

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)

WPI is the purest form of whey protein available and contains between 90-95% protein.  It is a good protein source for individuals with lactose intolerance as it contains little or no lactose.  WPIs are also very low in fat.  The cost of a WPI will be slightly higher than WPC due to the purity and higher protein content of the product.

Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

The long protein chains in the whey protein have been broken down into shorter chains called peptides.  This makes this type of whey protein more easily absorbed by the body and may reduce the potential for allergic reactions. Hydrolyzed whey protein is often used in infant formulas and sports and medical nutrition products. Hydrolysis does not reduce the nutritional quality of the whey protein.

Type

Protein

Lactose

Fat

Common Application

Whey Protein Concentrate 1

25-89%

4-52%

1-9%

Protein beverages and bars, confectionery and bakery products, infant formula and other nutritional food products
Whey Protein Isolate

90-95%

0.5-1%

0.5-1%
 

Protein supplementation products, protein beverages, protein bars and other nutritional food products
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

80-90%

0.5-10%

0.5-8%

Infant formula and sports and medical nutrition products

1 Source: 21 CFR, § 184.1979
Note: Product composition may vary slightly by manufacturer