May 22, 2024
Sodium Caseinate

An Overview Sodium Caseinate Is A Common Food Additive Derived From Milk

Sodium caseinate is a common food additive derived from milk. It is produced by alkalizing casein, the main protein in cow’s milk, with sodium hydroxide. The end product is a free-flowing white powder that is widely used in the food industry. Let’s take a closer look at this versatile ingredient.

What is Sodium Caseinate?

Sodium caseinate is produced by separating the casein protein from milk and processing it further. Casein accounts for approximately 80% of the proteins in cow’s milk. It is extracted from fresh skim milk using an acid such as lactic or acetic acid. This causes the casein molecules to clump together into an insoluble mass called curds. The liquid left over after clumping is called whey.

The curds are then treated with sodium hydroxide solution. This process, known as alkalization, causes the protein structure to unravel and become soluble. It also neutralizes the acid and forms sodium caseinate. Any remaining lactose and fat are removed, yielding a refined powder.

Chemical Composition

On average, Sodium Caseinate contains around 90% protein by weight. The main proteins present are alpha-S1, alpha-S2, beta and kappa casein. It also contains small amounts of lipids (around 1%), carbohydrates such as lactose (1-2%) and ash or mineral matter (7-8%).

The minerals in sodium caseinate powder include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium from the alkalization process. Sodium levels range between 10-15% of the total weight. Caseinate has a near-neutral pH of 6.5-7.0.

Uses in the Food Industry

Due to its good solubility, neutral taste and ability to form viscous solutions, sodium caseinate finds wide application in the food processing sector. Some of its major uses are:

– Dairy Products: It is used as a stabilizer, thickener and texturizer in products like evaporated milk, ice cream and processed cheese. Caseinates help improve creaminess, body and texture.

– Bakery Goods: Sodium caseinate acts as an emulsifier in goods like cake mixes and pancake batters. It allows fats and liquids to blend smoothly.

– Sauces and Gravies: The protein helps thicken and stabilize sauces without altering their taste. It prevents curdling and separation.

– Meat Products: Sodium caseinate improves texture and water retention in processed meats like sausages and hams. It substitutes for more expensive cuts of meat.

– Nutritional Products: Caseinates are a common ingredient in nutritional powders, diet shakes and infant formulas due to their protein content.

– Other Uses: Some other applications include coffee creamers, canned soups, chewing gum and pig/calf milk replacers.

Nutritional Profile

Caseinates provide excellent nutrition due to their high-quality protein. On a dry matter basis, sodium caseinate contains:

– Protein: Around 88-90% of total composition
– Carbohydrates: 1-3%, largely lactose
– Fat: 1-2%
– Ash: 7-9%, mostly sodium, calcium and phosphorus
– Calories: 101 calories per 28g serving

The protein profile shows casein contains all essential amino acids required by the human body. It is a complete source of lean protein and an important ingredient in protein bars, shakes and other sports nutrition products. Sodium caseinate is easily digestible and helps build muscle mass when combined with exercise.

Health Benefits and Precautions

Regular consumption of protein-rich caseinates may offer a number of health advantages like:

– Improved bone health due to calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K
– Healthier weight management when included as part of an overall balanced diet
– Increased satiety to support appetite control

However, since caseinate powder contains sodium, excessive intake should be avoided by those with high blood pressure. Its protein is considered low in cysteine and tyrosine amino acids as well. Pregnant/lactating women must consult a doctor before supplementation.

In summary, sodium caseinate is a versatile food additive obtained from milk protein. It functions as an emulsifier, thickener and nutritional fortifier across many product categories. With balanced usage, this milk protein derivative can positively impact health and nutrition. Food manufacturers continue to leverage its functional properties in new innovations.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.