Characterization of dried whey protein concentrate and isolate flavor

J Dairy Sci. 2005 Nov;88(11):3826-39. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(05)73068-X.


The flavor of whey protein concentrates (WPC 80) and whey protein isolates (WPI) was studied using instrumental and sensory techniques. Four WPC 80 and 4 WPI, less than 3 mo old, were collected in duplicate from 6 manufacturers in the United States. Samples were rehydrated and evaluated in duplicate by descriptive sensory analysis. Duplicate samples with internal standards were extracted with diethyl ether. Extracts were then distilled to remove nonvolatile material using high vacuum distillation. Volatile extracts were analyzed using gas chromatography/olfactometry with post peak intensity analysis and aroma extract dilution analysis. Compounds were identified by comparison of retention indices, odor properties, and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry against reference standards. Whey proteins exhibited sweet aromatic, cardboard/wet paper, animal/wet dog, soapy, brothy, cucumber, and cooked/milky flavors, along with the basic taste bitter, and the feeling factor astringency. Key volatile flavor compounds in WPC 80 and WPI were butanoic acid (cheesy), 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (popcorn), 2-methyl-3-furanthiol (brothy/burnt), 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3-(2H)-furanone (maple/spicy), 2-nonenal (fatty/old books), (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal (cucumber), and (E,Z)-2,4-decadienal (fatty/oxidized). This baseline data on flavor and flavor sources in whey proteins will aid ongoing and future research and will help to identify the most appropriate whey ingredients to use to control or minimize flavor variability in whey enhanced products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols / analysis
  • Aldehydes / analysis
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ketones / analysis
  • Milk Proteins / chemistry*
  • Milk Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Vacuum
  • Volatilization
  • Water / analysis
  • Whey Proteins


  • Alcohols
  • Aldehydes
  • Fatty Acids
  • Ketones
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins
  • Water