Creating a clear functional drink suitable for transparent bottles is the key advantage of a new hydrolyzed whey protein from Milk Specialties.
Whey protein is a popular ingredient in sports nutrition but it can make drinks look unattractive. Drink makers therefore resort to using an opaque bottle that does not allow people to see before they buy.
To help companies overcome this problem Milk Specialties has launched a hydrolyzed whey protein that is clear in solution and therefore suitable for see-through bottles.
When added to a functional drink, whey protein tends to thicken it and create a milky and creamy look. Once it is on the shelf for a while, the drink can then start to separate.
All this is rather unattractive to the consumer if the drink is sold in a transparent container, so companies normally use opaque bottles. They can then hide the contents and just instruct the consumer to shake the product well before use to avoid separation.
The new hydrolyzed whey protein from Milk Specialties allows companies to return to clear bottles and remove mixing instructions from the label, according to international sales manager Jing Hagert.
She said the new ingredient is clear in solution so people can see through the final drink nicely and there is no separation problem so no need to shake the bottle.
Manufactured using a gentle hydrolysis and filtration process, the whey protein is also suitable for hot fill bottling on account of it being hydrolyzed. Hagert said regular whey does not necessarily survive hot fill as the protein can end up coagulating.
Protein drink market
Sports and nutrition companies are likely to make up the bulk of the customer base for the new hydrolyzed whey protein. But Hagert also expects interest from the health and nutrition sector. Hagert said housewives looking for a healthy diet are developing an interest in protein-rich drinks that used to be reserved for bodybuilders and athletes.
Milk Specialties will be marketing its new protein globally but expects most interest to come from the North American market.
“This product will be a significant contribution to our whey protein portfolio, enhancing customer choices to what they need for successful product launches and what consumers want, a high quality protein beverage,” said Hagert.