Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Acid hydrolysis of protein powder

Oscilllator - 18-9-2016 at 04:39

I personally consume a fair bit of protein powder. One of the things I have wondered about is the possibility of performing a partial or complete hydrolysis of these proteins into their amino acids. Plain amino acids and branched chain amino acids are available over the counter, however they are much more expensive than regular protein powder.
Does anyone here think it could be possible to perform some kind of acid hydrolysis on this protein powder, perhaps by adding an acid such as HCl, heating, then neutralizing with a base? Would such a reaction produce toxic byproducts?

phlogiston - 18-9-2016 at 11:53

- How were you planning to remove the excess HCl after the reaction?
- Most protein powders contain other ingredients in addition to protein. You will have to consider the effect of the HCl on them as well
- Mixtures of amino acids taste horrible.
- What would be the advantage of hydrolyzing it with HCl instead of with the proteinases in your digestive system?

zed - 20-9-2016 at 18:04

Oscilllator - 20-9-2016 at 19:25

phlogiston, you don't need to remove the HCl. As I said above, you can just neutralise the solution and leave behind a small amount of NaCl. It's a good point you have about ingredients, but 'raw' protein powder is readily available and has no additives. With regards to the advantages of eating amino acids over plain protein the only real use is in the bodybuilding community, where people take it as a supplement. The benefits of taking amino acids can be debated, but that is not the purpose of this thread.

zed that's a great idea. I went and found a paper on the hydrolysis of whey protein using papain, and the maximum "degree of hydrolysis" they were able to achieve was only 9.21%, so it seems like that probably won't be a good option. Unfortunately a search for acidic whey protein hydrolysis didn't turn up that much.

Attachment: papain whey protein hydrolysis.pdf (678kB)
This file has been downloaded 98 times

zed - 24-9-2016 at 10:32

Of note, the presence of HCl is helpful in protein digestion.

If your stomach develops a deficiency of HCl, it is an ominous sign. Achlorhydria may be treated via ingesting small quantities of HCl. But generally speaking, the development of stomach cancer often follows on the heels of the development of achlorhydria. Usually takes a few years, but its eventual arrival should be watched for.

Knocked of my favorite Doctor buddies.

P.S. Stomach cancer is not as certain as I imagined.

[Edited on 24-9-2016 by zed]