Is whey gluten free?

Is whey gluten free?” and “Is whey protein powder gluten free?” are different questions and have different answers. To understend them, first we have to see “What is whey?” These topics are important for those on a strict gluten free diet (such as people with celiac disease and non celiac related gluten sensitivity). On the page, we will discuss these questions.

Is whey gluten free? Is whey protein powder gluten free?

What is whey? 
Whey is a byproduct of the manufacture of dairy products – cheese, curd, etc. Whey is made during the process of curdling of casein, which is one of the proteins contained in milk. Whey looks like liquid with a whitish color. It contains lactose, vitamins, minerals, fats and whey protein.

Is whey gluten free?
As you see natural and pure whey have nothing to do with gluten. So, the answer of the question – “Is whey gluten free?” is YES. Whey is a gluten free product. But when it comes to the whey protein, things are more or less complicated.

What is whey protein powder?
Whey protein powder is a dietary supplement. As we mentioned above whey contains whey protein and other non-protein materials (minerals, lactose, etc.). To get pure whey protein, whey must be filtered. There are different type of filtration depending on how clean we want to be the final product. After filtration the large amount of whey protein is left. The next step is a drying process of the whey. During it whey become powder – known as  whey protein powder.

Is whey protein powder gluten free?
As you see from the definition above, pure whey protein powder does not contain gluten. But not all whey protein powder products on the market are free of gluten. There are 2 types of risks:

  • Cross-contamination with gluten, if whey protein is produced in a facility that also produce wheat or other sources of gluten. 
  • Added ingredients that contain gluten to the whey protein products.

To be sure you can ask the manufacturer or to search for certified gluten free brands and whey products.

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