Is Whey Gluten Free? | Build a Stash

Key Takeaways

  • Naturally, whey lacks gluten since it has  proteins
  • Whey can be contaminated with gluten during its production process
  • In the US, there is a regulatory body that tests the number of gluten levels
  • Whey protein comes in different forms depending on the production process
  • You can mix whey with other fluids to increase the nutrients

Whey provides an easy and healthy way to increase the amount of protein in your body. So, is whey gluten-free? We have the answers.

Whey in its natural form is gluten-free since it is made up of protein only. However, cross contamination and the use of ingredients that have gluten can lead to whey having gluten. Therefore, it is advisable to check the ingredient and allergy information to ensure the product is gluten-free.

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Table of contents


About The Whey Protein

Milk is a versatile product, and there are a number of products associated with it, and these include whey. This is left over from the process of making cheese.

In the past, whey had little significance, especially for individuals who wanted to make cheese and butter from milk. This is because the early whey was not soluble and tasted terrible.

Again, in the past, it was difficult to manage because cheese factories would produce it in large quantities. Many factory managers would devise ways of getting rid of it without using it.

In 1970, better filtration techniques improved the solubility and the taste of whey, and the demand for whey protein and whey protein powders increased and became popular worldwide. By this time, technology had made the use of various products easier.

Whey is frequently used by individuals who want to increase their strength and improve their athletic performance. This is more so when they are preparing for major goals such as a competition. Athletes love taking whey because it ensures that protein absorption is faster than foods rich in proteins.

Whey is a reliable source of amino acids which play a critical role in enhancing the health of an individual. Moreover, whey boosts the immune system of an individual.

It also plays a vital role in treating people with diabetes and asthma. According to WebMD, whey is very important in weight management more so when it is based on long-term weight loss goals.

Is Whey Gluten-Free?

So, is whey gluten-free, and are whey protein powders gluten free? Is whey naturally gluten free? Is whey a safe product for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity?

Since whey is obtained from milk, there is no gluten in it since it is a protein. Therefore, as long as the whey production process is pure and no contamination occurs, then whey is gluten-free..

However, since there are a lot of whey products in the market, you risk a gluten problem. This is because some whey does not follow the correct production process or use the same machines or equipment to produce whey and other products that may contain gluten as an element. Simply put, much as whey is gluten free, it could be contaminated.

Cheap whey products may also pose a danger primarily to people with celiac diseases or severe gluten intolerance and such people should take whey protein gluten free food. It is advisable to check the gluten information on the whey container.

In most cases, whey proteins contain additives such as a stabilizer or preservatives. In such cases, the status of whey as gluten free may be compromised. Some whey powders may contain gluten due to the fact that the ingredients may be having gluten.

Types Of Whey Protein

Different types of whey protein depend on the amount of processing, whey concentrate, and their assimilation into the body. One type of whey is whey protein powder removed with cheese during extraction. This protein powder is mainly made up of 70 to 80 % protein.

The second type of whey protein is the whey isolate. Whey isolate contains 90 % protein that eliminates fats and sugar when advanced processing occurs.

Milk protein represents the last type of whey protein formed by combining casein and whey. It consists of 80% of casein present in cow milk.

How To Ensure That Your Whey Is Gluten free

Since there is a wide variety of whey protein in the market, it will be crucial to check on some parameters before you buy the product. The following are some of the information you need to check:

Allergy Information

The first thing to check is the allergy information on the whey container to see if it includes any gluten. Typically, every supplement or food with 1 of the 8 major allergens, including wheat, is displayed on its labels in accordance with the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act 2004.

Ingredient Information

After you have confirmed there is no gluten in the product, check and review the ingredient list to rule out any item that may contain gluten. If you are buying whey supplements, ensure it does not include additional components apart from protein ingredients.

It is also crucial to remember that not all whey products can be 100% pure protein; it doesn't necessarily imply it has gluten or other additives.

American authorities are becoming committed to labeling in order to help consumers make a decision. Thus, as a consumer, you need to be checking the labels carefully in order to make an informed decision.

Checking the Gluten Level

The US laws about gluten level state that a product should only be labeled gluten-free if it consists of gluten-free components under 20 ppm.

If you doubt whether the gluten information is accurate, you can select whey powders that have received a gluten-free certificate from the regulatory body.

How To Use Whey Protein

If you are consuming whey in powder form, you must combine it with a liquid such as water or milk. However, some individuals prefer combining other products with different nutrients besides proteins. The following are other alternative ways you can mix whey if you want to get proteins and other nutrients:

Combining Whey With Oatmeal

Many individuals like combining oatmeal with whey due to its high fiber content, vitamins, and antioxidants, among other nutrients. They are also naturally gluten free, but ensure you buy them from a certified brand because oat is susceptible to gluten contamination during production.

Shakes And Smoothies

This method provides a simple way to consume whey protein powder because it will require you to add a scoop of the product to a protein shake and then mix them.

Additionally, you can use different protein shake flavors to increase or improve its taste. When it comes to smoothies, it is similar to using shakes, but you can use fruits, milk, and yogurt to increase the nutrients.


Mark Walker

Mark Walker

I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.

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