What Is Sodium Caseinate And What Is It Used For?

Sodium caseinate is a compound derived from milk protein. Do you know what it is and what it is used for? Read on to find out.
What is sodium caseinate and what is it used for?

You may have already heard of sodium caseinate. If you do not have it, it is a compound derived from milk protein. In today’s article will discuss what it is and what it is used for. Read on to find out more.

This substance comes from casein, so it has a high biological value. In this regard, its use as a dietary supplement is quite popular in the food industry. This is because it can modify and give texture to multiple products.

What is sodium caseinate?

Casein is the main protein in cow’s milk, and accounts for 80% of the total. To obtain sodium caseinate, it must be extracted chemically.

This is usually done with the help of specialized enzymes or through the addition of an acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar. The purpose of this is to lower the acidity and form rennet. Thus, you can obtain casein salt from the separation of the liquid.

Properties

Sodium caseinate contains almost 90% of its weight in protein. This product has all the essential amino acids, and its high biological value and nutritional properties derive from it. Furthermore, it stands out due to the functional properties it has because it has the ability to hold water, form gels, emulsify fats and stabilize substances.

Milk
Sodium caseinate is derived from casein, which is the protein in milk.

Use of sodium caseinate

The food industry uses it to make products that require fat, such as desserts. This is due to its properties, especially the potential to form stable emulsions.

Thus, this salt is an interesting alternative when it comes to healthy food production. That is at least what is claimed in the study Gelificación de Emulsiones de Caseinato de Sodio como Alternativa a las Grasas Trans.

This substance can be used in a variety of foods, such as cheese-flavored snacks, margarine, cereals, processed meats, chocolates, coffee creams, ice creams, breads and protein powders.

In addition, salt is an anticatabolic product – it prevents muscle breakdown. Thus, it is great during periods of fasting and during night sleep, as it helps maintain muscle mass when you follow a restrictive diet.

In connection with this, sodium caseinate can be very useful in physically active people who follow a diet or are trying to achieve greater muscle definition. This is not only because it helps regenerate muscle fibers, but because it saturates.

This substance is commonly found in processed foods and is also used to change the texture and chemical stability of a variety of products, such as medicines, makeup, hygiene products and personal care products.

Contraindications

Sodium caseinate is usually safe for most people, but some people are allergic to it. In fact, various studies suggest that casein may lead to intolerance due to its significant inflammatory potential.

Casein allergy

In some cases, the immune system can identify sodium caseinate as a harmful component, thus releasing the histamine to neutralize it. The allergic reactions vary from person to person, but may include symptoms such as:

  • Nasal congestion and increased mucus production
  • Itchy eyes
  • Abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea

Kidney damage

Casein reduces kidney function, which in turn increases metabolic acidity. According to a study performed in rats, those who followed a diet with a high intake of protein and its derivatives developed a progressive reduction in renal filtration.

However, let us make it clear that a moderate consumption of casein in people with healthy organs usually does not lead to health problems.

A woman makes salad
Vegans should avoid using sodium caseinate, as it is a by-product of animal milk.

Vegans

Sodium caseinate is derived from cow’s milk, so it is not suitable for people who do not eat dairy products or for plant-based or vegan diets. The processed foods that usually have this as an ingredient are bottled coffee, cheese without dairy products and cereals. Read the food label to be sure.

A few things finally about sodium caseinate

As you can see, this type of salt can be used in many industrially processed products due to its many properties. In addition, given that it is a compound of high biological value, it can be a good supplement for those who want to increase their body mass.

Of course, you need to consult a professional to make sure there are no contraindications before making it a part of your diet.

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