Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Animals, Agriculture & Food
Animals Agriculture Food
Methods and Compositions Involving Whey Protein Isolates
WARF: P04266US

Inventors: Mark Etzel, Thomas Helm, Harit Vyas

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a superior method for isolating whey proteins that prevents them from denaturing, so that they remain soluble over a wide pH range.
Whey proteins, which make up approximately 20 percent of the proteins in milk, are a promising source of high-quality protein for sports, diet, and soft drinks. However, current isolation methods tend to cause whey proteins to become cloudy in solution and form sediment at pH 4 to 6, posing a problem for their use in soft drinks of near neutral pH.
The Invention
UW-Madison researchers have developed a superior method for isolating whey proteins in their native form through ion exchange chromatography. The technique prevents whey proteins from denaturing during isolation, so that they remain soluble over a wide pH range.

The method uses the normal ion exchange process in which the whey proteins are bound to a cation exchange support and unbound impurities are washed off the column. Next, the proteins are eluted with a modified buffer solution that maintains the correct pH and optimal ionic strength.
  • Near neutral pH drinks, including sports and soft drinks 
  • Foodstuffs
  • Protein supplements
  • Pharmaceutical formulations
Key Benefits
  • Proteins exhibit low turbidity over a wide pH range.
  • Method consistently provides a recovery rate of over 90 percent.
  • Does not increase the cost of isolating whey proteins
  • Provides bioactive, highly-soluble, un-denatured, fat-free and sugar-free whey protein
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9842