Casein is a protein that is in milk.
It is vital to the cheese-making process. Acids and enzymes cause the protein to coagulate and form curd.
It is also extracted from milk, and used an ingredient in many other items. Food-grade and industrial-grade Casein are produced.
Food-grade is used in products such as coffee whiteners, infant formula, processed cheese, soy cheeses, imitation meat products, etc, as well as in pharmaceutical products. Industrial-grade is used in paint, adhesives, cosmetics, plastics, etc.
Extracted Casein won’t dissolve in water, so it is dissolved in a hydroxide then dried to a white powder, making Caseinate. There is Ammonium caseinate for baking products, Calcium caseinate (used in some cheeses, frozen desserts and diet supplements), Potassium caseinate (used in ice creams and sherbets) and Sodium caseinate (processed cheeses, coffee whitener, yoghurt, some liqueurs, etc).
Some people are allergic to Casein.
A product can contain caseinates and still be labelled “non-dairy.”
Casein contains 21 amino acids.
Comes from the Latin word for cheese, “caesus.”