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What's the difference between protein concentrates and isolates?

by Rodrigo Etcheto 2 min read

What's the difference between protein concentrates and isolates?

Protein concentrate and protein isolate are terms used in the industry to describe whey protein purity. Concentrate and isolate refer to the percent amount of protein in the powder.

  • Whey protein concentrate: 30 - 80% protein purity 
  • Whey protein isolate: 90% protein purity

By this standard, our egg white protein is an isolate since it's 90% pure protein. Egg white is naturally that high in protein, that's just what it is. 

Whey protein is a milk derivative, so how much protein you actually get in a powder depends on how much they purified it. Egg white is just...egg white. 

So which protein concentrate did you get?

How could you know? You can't

The problem with whey protein concentrates is the range of protein is so wide, 30 - 80%, and you have no idea exactly what the supplement company used. Obviously, the lower protein levels are cheaper, so a lot of companies like to use mainly cheaper concentrates and then a little bit of isolate to try to make the ingredient statement look better... Look! We use whey protein isolate!

So if a protein concentrate is, say, 34% protein, what's the rest? A whole lot of lactose, up to 55% and even some milk fat. Whey protein comes from milk remember, the less pure it is, the more lactose it has. 

All whey protein has lactose

Worst of all, you'll have no idea how much lactose is in a powder. It's just shows up as "carbs", there's no requirement to specify the specific amount of lactose.

That's bad news for those of us who are lactose-intolerant. That's why some protein powders might not sit well with you, and you might not understand why. Check the label, does it have whey protein concentrate? It probably has a lot of lactose.

Almost all adults are at least mildly lactose-intolerant and even whey protein isolate has some lactose in it.  

Egg White is Naturally Lactose-free, Fat-Free & Gluten-free

That pretty much says it all. All we do is process it carefully and crystallize at low temperatures, then add some flavors. That's it. 

Check out what 90% protein purity can do for you, see why we think Egg Crystals is the best egg white protein around