Food With Casein


Food with casein protein is a protein found in milk that gives milk its white color. Cow’s milk consists of around 80% casein protein. In addition to milk, casein protein is found in yogurt, cheese, and infant formulas, as well as in a variety of dietary supplements.

Food With Casein

There has been quite a bit of debate recently over the safety of casein protein. While researchers believe casein found in milk and cheese is beneficial for you, there have been some concerns raised about the use of casein.

One of the major concerns of casein protein is its potential link to cancer. There have been studies that show a link between cancer and the consumption of protein, specifically animal protein.

These studies show that casein consumed in the diet directly affected the growth of cancer. It also showed that the amount of cancer growth could be controlled by the amount of casein in laboratory animals’ diets.

Another concern over casein is based on how it affects the respiratory system. Casein is used to form glue and the most adhesive glue on the market. This is because casein is coarse and thick.

Casein also forms a mucous material. The consumption of casein can cause the human respiratory system to become irritated and congested.

When the body isn’t functioning properly and respiratory problems are the result, this can lead to other allergies and illnesses. Some common illnesses generated by an irritated respiratory system are bronchitis, ear infections, sinusitis, and asthma.

Common allergies to dairy and hay fever can be a direct result of a congested respiratory system. Casein allergies can occur in infants, children, and adults. An allergic reaction to casein occurs for some because the body thinks casein protein is harmful. The body will then release histamines and this release can result in nasal congestion, wheezing, hives, itchy skin, and swelling of the mouth, tongue, lips, face, and throat.

The best way to avoid allergies is to stay away from products that contain casein. Because of the potential links between cancer and casein, many products are now casein-free.

Casein Protein – Uses and Side Effects

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Infant development. Most research shows that feeding premature, low-birth weight, and healthy infants a formula containing casein protein does not increase or decrease growth compared to breast milk, whey protein-based formula, rice hydrolysate formula, cow’s milk formula, or amino acid-based formula.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Liver disease in people who drink alcohol. Early research shows that administering a casein protein supplement through a feeding tube for 28 days improves mental status in patients who have liver disease from alcohol consumption. Other early research shows that taking a casein-based formula daily for one year lowers the risk for hospitalization and infection in these patients. But casein protein does not seem to reduce the risk of death.
  • Athletic performance. Some early research shows that taking casein protein before or after exercise improves strength and athletic performance. But not all research agrees. Some research also shows that casein protein works just as well as whey protein or creatine for improving athletic performance. But other research shows that whey protein is better than casein protein.
  • Cirrhosis. Early research shows that drinking a casein protein supplement for 4-6 days improves mental status in people with cirrhosis.
  • A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often lose muscle function over time. Some studies show that taking casein protein along with exercise builds muscle. But early research shows that taking casein protein daily for 8 weeks does not improve lung or muscle function in people with COPD.
  • Diabetes. Limited research suggests that taking casein protein with food might increase insulin, but not blood sugar levels, in people with diabetes.
  • Diarrhea. Early research in infants with the stomach flu shows that using a formula containing casein protein, instead of cow’s milk, reduces diarrhea.
  • Muscle soreness after exercise. Early research in strength training athletes shows that taking a specific protein supplement containing casein protein and other ingredients before and after exercise does not reduce muscle soreness.
  • Persistent heartburn. Early research in children with brain damage shows that a formula containing casein protein doesn’t work as well as whey protein formula for reducing symptoms of heartburn. But casein protein and whey protein seem to have similar effects in infants with heartburn.
  • Reduced brain function in people with advanced liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). Early research shows that taking casein protein for 3 months does not improve mental function in people with chronic liver disease.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (hepatitis C). Early research shows that taking casein protein daily for 12 weeks improves quality of life in people with hepatitis C infection.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Most research shows that casein protein does not improve “good” or “bad” cholesterol levels in people with normal cholesterol or in people with high cholesterol. But some small studies show that it might improve these levels in some people. Also, eating casein protein seems to lower the levels of a certain type of cholesterol called lipoprotein(a).
  • High blood pressure. The effect of casein protein on blood pressure is unclear. Some research shows that it can reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number), while other research shows that it can reduce diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
  • Obesity. Most research shows that taking casein protein does not reduce body weight or appetite in people who are overweight or obese. But some early research shows that having a liquid snack containing casein protein reduces hunger in overweight patients. Also, early research shows that taking casein protein for 12 weeks prevents weight gain in obese people who have already lost weight. In overweight children, early research shows that drinking a milk drink containing casein protein daily for 12 weeks instead of water increases body weight.
  • Other conditions.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Casein protein is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Most adults do not experience side effects when casein protein is taken for as long as 12 months.

Foods With Casein, Properties Of Casein And Casein For Weight Loss

What Is Casein?

Before we get deeper into this read, it is important to answer the question on everyone’s mind. What is casein? Casein is a protein found in milk. It is a derivative of milk. Most people don’t know this, but casein makes up about 80% of milk protein, whereas whey and other proteins make the remaining 20%.

Casein is a good protein source. Proteins are important in our bodies as they help with the growth of different tissues in our bodies. They also help in building muscles and repairing injured or worn out muscles. Proteins also help in maintaining a healthy weight, help with hormone regulation and so on. Casein, just like other proteins found in animals like beef, chicken and the rest, is also a complete protein. What this means is that casein contains all the essential amino acids in generous amounts. Essential amino acids help our bodies to function properly and hence the reason people need to eat foods that provide them.

Apart from casein being a good protein source, it also contains relatively few calories. This makes it a good diet addition for people who are on a weight loss journey, as they can enjoy the benefits of casein without being worried about their weight. When you ingest casein, the body turns it into a gel-like substance in the stomach that is slowly digested as it releases amino acids that are beneficial to your body.

foods with casein

Properties And Structure Of Casein

Before we dive deep into the foods that contain casein, it is important to know the structure of this milk protein and its properties. Knowing this helps us understand more about this milk protein. Casein exists as a molecule that is suspended in a liquid. The structure of casein is called micelle. Still on the structure and properties of this milk protein, it is important to know that there are 4 subtypes of casein. The four subtypes are; aS1-Casein, aS2-Casein, b-Casein, K-Casein . 

aS1-Casein, aS2-Casein and b-Casein are calcium sensitive. What this means is that these 3 proteins bind calcium and phosphorus together, carrying these two nutrients for digestion and absorption in the body . This does not mean K-Casein has no function in the casein micelle. K-Casein holds a structural function in the micelle. It helps keep the micelle together until the digestive enzymes remove it. When K-Casein gets metabolized, the casein turns into a mass that is more difficult to break down. That is what makes casein a slow-digesting protein . 

That is the whole structure and properties of casein in detail.

List Of Foods With Casein

As we had said earlier, casein is a milk-protein. What this translates to is that most products that are made from milk are likely to have casein. With that said, here are the foods with casein to eat:


Milk is the primary source of casein. Casein makes up somewhere between 75% and 85 % of the protein found in milk. 1 cup of milk roughly contains somewhere between 6 to 8 grams of casein. 

foods with casein

Curds And Cottage Cheese

When you want to make cottage cheese, you have to clot skim milk with renin or lactic acid. This makes cottage cheese more protein-dense as compared to milk. 1 cup of cottage cheese contains approximately 27 grams of protein and this means it has a high casein content compared to milk.


Who doesn’t love yoghurt? It is known to come in very many different forms and flavors. Yoghurt, especially regular or Greek yogurt, is an excellent source of casein. Yoghurt is made from milk. 4 pounds of milk can approximately make 1 pound of yoghurt. What this means is that yoghurt is more concentrated in casein as compared to milk. A person is likely to get somewhere between 15 – 20 grams of protein per every 6 ounce serving of Greek yoghurt .

Other foods that have casein are; butter, ice cream, white or milk chocolate, ice milk, creamed soups, custard and so on.

There are other foods that contain casein, not because they have milk in them but because casein was used as a bonding agent as they processed. Examples of such foods include: margarine, dairy-free cheese, tuna fish, semi-sweet chocolate, hot dogs, sausages, lunch meats etc.

Those are some of the foods that contain casein. Yoghurt, cheese, sour cream and half and half are high protein sources of casein.

foods with casein

Casein And Weight Loss

Apart from casein being an excellent protein source, casein also helps when it comes to weight management. Casein is referred to as a slow release protein. The reason for this title is from the fact that casein gets digested gradually and slower than most proteins. It is digested slowly due to its structure. When digestive enzymes remove K-Casein, which is one of the subtypes of casein, the casein turns into a mass that is difficult to digest . Casein takes approximately 7 hours to release all the amino acids into the blood. Other proteins like whey and the likes only take 3 hours to get digested. This is good when it comes to weight loss.

The magic rule to losing weight is pretty much eating less than your body burns. Eating less creates a calorie deficit and this leads to the body using the food it has stored as fat hence weight loss. The slow digestion of casein helps with weight loss. It helps in that once you eat casein, you will stay full for longer. Staying full for longer means you will take in less food than you usually take in and this leads to a calorie deficit and hence weight loss .

There are several studies that have been able to prove that casein helps with weight loss. A study that was published in 2009 on casein and weight loss, the study showed that high-protein diets with casein were just as effective when it comes to long-term weight loss and weight maintenance as diets featuring other proteins like whey .

When you lose weight, there are chances that you are either losing fat mass, lean muscles or both. Losing fat is okay, the problem comes when you are losing lean muscles . Losing lean muscles deters your weight loss journey. This is because muscles are metabolically active tissues compared to fat tissues. What this means is that muscle burns calories even when you are resting and this promotes weight loss.

If you lose these lean muscles that help keep your metabolism high, a slowed metabolism will result in less weight loss or even no weight loss and that is where casein comes in. A study that was published in 2013 in the ‘Journal of Sports Science and Medicine’ showed that women who supplemented with casein for 8 weeks and were able to complete their everyday workouts experienced a change in their body composition . They were able to lose more fat than muscles. The reason for this is the fact that proteins help us build muscles and maintain existing muscles and casein just happens to be a very good source of protein.

foods with casein

Casein Allergy

Just like other food, people can also be allergic to casein. Casein allergy occurs when your body’s immune system mistakes this milk protein for being harmful and ends up producing antibodies for protection against it. When these antibodies interact with casein, the body releases certain body chemicals that result in symptoms like :

  • Swelling of the face 
  • Swelling of the mouth, lips and throat
  • Developing rashes, hives, redskins or itchy skins
  • Nasal congestion, running nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing and even wheezing

Although the above mentioned symptoms are not deadly, being allergic to casein can also cause anaphylaxis which is fatal. People with an allergy to casein are usually advised to carry injectable epinephrine . The epinephrine helps deal with the allergic reaction if by chance or rather by accident you get to ingest food with casein. Antihistamine, which can be gotten over the counter in most pharmacies will also help alleviate the various symptoms mentioned above .

The Bottom Line

That is all you need to know on foods with casein, the properties of casein and how casein helps with weight loss. If you are allergic to casein, you should avoid it at all costs.

Casein Whey Powder Food Grade

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Casein Whey Powder Food Grade is a slightly yellow powder or granules with a slightly salty taste. It is produced from fresh Acid Casein Whey, evaporated, neutralized, crystallized, demineralised and spray dried. This product is free from preservative neutralizing agents.


Melkweg is one of the international leaders in the supply of dairy products for the Food, Beverage, and Nutrition industry. Their product portfolio includes anhydrous milk fats, casein whey powder, demineralized whey powder, milk powders, cheese, lactose, and milk protein concentrates, among many more. Melkweg employs a team of experienced professionals to provide efficient, helpful customer service.

What’’s the Difference Between Casein-Free and Dairy-Free?

Q: Anita – My son has an allergy to casein. I am trying to find foods that he can eat, but the labels are a bit confusing. If a product is labeled as dairy-free, is it safe for him, or does it need to be casein-free specifically?

A: Alisa – The most important thing is to read the ingredients. Labels can be misleading, so always check the ingredient list for the potential allergen. Also, if your son’s allergy is severe, and potential cross-contamination is a concern, contact the company to confirm ingredients and manufacturing processes prior to consumption, even if it appears to be dairy-ingredient-free and even if it is labeled as “dairy-free” or “casein-free.”

But in direct response to your question on the labeling, the term dairy-free indicates that there are no dairy ingredients (see this article where I address the terms ‘non-dairy’ vs ‘dairy-free’), this would include lactose, casein, whey, etc.

Casein is a type of protein within milk. In other words, it is a component of dairy foods. Thus, a product can actually be casein-free, but contain another dairy “component” such as lactose or even dairy fat. Ghee for example is often labeled as casein-free. It is dairy butter, essentially. But it has been purified to, in theory, extract all of the proteins, leaving just pure butter fat. It is still a dairy product, but according to some manufacturers, it no longer contains casein. Whether or not such a food is safe for your son is something you should discuss with his physician as traces of the milk protein could still remain.

Manufacturers egg on the confusion by putting both “dairy-free” and “casein-free” on a single package. I hate that they do this as it implies that a dairy-free product may not be casein-free. In general (but as mentioned, always verify the ingredients!), dairy-free = casein-free but casein-free ≠ dairy-free.

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