The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

“Microfraction Ingredients” in Protein Supplements Usually Derived from Dairy; Sometimes from Animal Serum

Posted on May 16, 2012 by The VRG Blog Editor

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

VRG Research Director

In February 2012, The VRG received a question through our website about ingredients (also known as microfractions) in protein supplements including protein bars, powders, and drinks. The questioner wanted to know the source of several ingredients often found in these products such as albumin; alpha-lactalbumin; immunoglobulins; beta-lactoglobulin; lactoferrin; glycomacropeptides; and lactoperoxidase.

The VRG researched many companies selling a wide variety of protein supplements. We compiled the information in the following chart. Please note that the most common commercial sources for use in food products (specifically protein supplements) are listed in order of predominance as researched by the writer in May 2012. We have made generalizations that are well-supported by information collected from many companies.

Readers interested in specific products should always conduct their own investigation if there are any doubts, starting with the website of the product’s manufacturer (not a reseller). Note also that some of these ingredients are commonly used in laboratories where purified animal sera are often common sources. In these cases, the ingredients are not food grade (unless they’re being investigated as food grade ingredients) and not available for purchase by consumers.

Those who would like to learn more about common ingredients in dietary supplements may find the National Library of Medicine’s Dietary Supplements Ingredients Database informative and useful as a preliminary research tool:

Ingredient Common Source Company
albumin egg, beef, bovine milk (whey) SNI Global Sports Nutrition, Universal Nutrition, Syntrax
alpha-lactalbumin bovine milk (whey) Bluebonnet Nutrition, Advanced Orthomolecular Research, Life Extension
immunoglobulins bovine serum, bovine colostrum, whey Now Foods, ImmunoLin, Source Naturals
beta-lactoglobulin bovine milk (whey) Nature’s Best, Life Extension, Allergy Research Group
lactoferrin bovine milk (whey) Advanced Orthomolecular Research, Ultimate Nutrition, Life Extension
glycomacropeptides bovine milk (whey) Advanced Orthomolecular Research, Ultimate Nutrition, Life Extension
lactoperoxidase bovine milk (whey) Probioplex, Precision Engineered, Jarrow Formulations

The contents of this article, our website, and our other publications, including the Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from companies. Information does change and mistakes are always possible. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. Further research or confirmation may be warranted.

For more information on food processing methods and food ingredients and to purchase our Guide to Food Ingredients, please visit our website at

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1 to ““Microfraction Ingredients” in Protein Supplements Usually Derived from Dairy; Sometimes from Animal Serum”

  1. Great article about Proteinsupplements. Where did you get those news from? Have a good one, Klaus!

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