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How can you use sweet whey powder instead of whey concentrate?

Answered on August 20, 2014
Created August 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Sweet whey powder (henceforth "SWP") is a byproduct of making cheese and is a commodity.

The protein content of SWP is 13.1% protein by weight. The rest of it is largely sugar (74.5%). See its nutrition fact sheet here.

One can buy SWP at $50 for 55 pounds from a bulk foods co-op, like Azure Standard, and thus the price per pound of protein would be:

 $50           1 unit SWP            $6.94
------ * --------------------  = -------------
55 lbs    0.131 units protein    1 lbs protein

Conversely, for whey concentrate:

$96.48     30.4g WC         $12.22
------ * ------------ = -------------
10 lbs   24 g protein   1 lbs protein

I did the analysis for simple whole milk, but I've forgotten the price per gallon. The number my wife gave me last night yielded a higher price per pound of protein than using the SWP:

   $???           gallon      453.5g      $????
----------- * ------------  * ------- = -------------
Gallon Milk   128 g protein    1 lbs     1 lbs protein

All that said, the price per pound of protein of SWP is about half that of whey concentrate.

What if you fermented out the sugar from the SWP using a kefir process? How long would it take to ferment most of the lactose out? How much sugar would remain? Chris Kresser quotes that kefir fermented from milk nukes all the lactose in about 2 days.

What might be some of the problems with this process? How is my analysis invalid?

I understand you'd lose some of the flexibility of the dry powder, as you'd have to reconstitute the SWP and then let it ferment for a few days.

D3b24404b24798df13fc01e2fd50cea0

on August 24, 2012
at 05:52 PM

whey concentrate powder that has been fermented or sweet whey powder that has been fermented?

D3b24404b24798df13fc01e2fd50cea0

on August 24, 2012
at 05:50 PM

By my thinking, the effort is the same, after amortization. One still mixes the same number glasses of [sweet] whey powder, you simply have to queue up your drinks for your workout and then store them in the fridge. Anyways, I already have a milk kefir pipeline for morning smoothies. As far as SWP vs whey concentrate absorption vs isolate, I believe they all come from either SWP or [acid whey protein](http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/101/2). Thus, the protein itself is more or less identical. The big difference is what _else_ is in the powder. i.e. lactose, etc

07243c7700483a67386049f7b67d90a4

on August 24, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Fermented whey tastes awful, I did try to use it but I came to the conclusion; its really just pig food.

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D3b24404b24798df13fc01e2fd50cea0

on October 28, 2012
at 10:07 PM

So, I tried this. The upshot is that it tastes waay too sour. I tried water with sweet whey powder (SWP) and I tried 1 part milk with one part SWP and they both taste very sour. I like sour in normal kefir, sauerkraut, fermented veggies, et c. This was too much for me. I couldn't do this regularly.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 24, 2012
at 05:36 PM

Ross, I think your numbers are fairly accurate. If you have the time and effort, then go forth. For me, the effort skews the cost/benefit ratio. I wonder whether the absorption of SWP would be closer to whey concentrate or isolate? That might also skew it...

D3b24404b24798df13fc01e2fd50cea0

on August 24, 2012
at 05:50 PM

By my thinking, the effort is the same, after amortization. One still mixes the same number glasses of [sweet] whey powder, you simply have to queue up your drinks for your workout and then store them in the fridge. Anyways, I already have a milk kefir pipeline for morning smoothies. As far as SWP vs whey concentrate absorption vs isolate, I believe they all come from either SWP or [acid whey protein](http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/101/2). Thus, the protein itself is more or less identical. The big difference is what _else_ is in the powder. i.e. lactose, etc

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