DairyReporter.com spoke with Ramon Mommersteeg, product group manager at FrieslandCampina DMV, last week at FIE 2013 in Frankfurt, where the company was showcasing its dairy protein portfolio.
Casein proteins account for around 80% of the proteins found in cow’s milk, but are often left trailing in the shadow of their more nutritional brother, whey.
But DMV believes that casein can rival whey protein when applicability is considered alongside nutrition.
“We’re not going to say that casein is better than whey,” said Mommersteeg. “But what we see is that casein protein is much easier to apply into, let’s say, an RTD.”
“When you look at healthy ageing for example, they are moving away from the hardcore shakes and the powders in big tubs, and more towards yogurt. And there, application-wise and nutrition-wise, we think that casein is the best fit,” said Mommersteeg.
Casein a "lost treasure"?
Nutritionally, the amino acid profile of whey protein is considered superior to casein.
Besides the nutritional superiority of one, casein and whey differ on another important front – digestion speed. Whey is fast digesting, providing a quick burst, while casein is slow digesting, providing a steady release of amino acids into circulation.
“Everyone is aware of the functional qualities of casein protein,” said Mommersteeg, “but the nutritional side of casein is something that we like to call one of the lost treasures.”
“It is not as good nutrition-wise as whey, but it is mighty close,” he said.
Mommersteeg added that while FrieslandCampina DMV is pushing the applicability of casein proteins, it is not discounting the superiority of whey.
“Of course, we also manufacture whey protein concentrates, so are not trying to disqualify whey protein,” he said. “We are on the whey protein bandwagon too, but we believe that casein protein is one of the lost treasures.”
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