Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I can find a lot of information about protein folding in water but not about whey-protein-folding in water that body-builders use with filtered shakers. Without filters, you get protein balls -- is this an example of micelle?

I could find "Micelle shape and size" -article here and it mentions that alcohol does not form micelle due to low repulsion forces. Whey protein gets balls in water due to some sort of repulsion forces, apparently some amide groups meaning hydrophilic-and-hydrophobic-groups with particles. Is this reasoning right or is there more with Whey -protein?


Wikipedia here apparently about folding with amino-acid sequences:

"the process also depends on the solvent (water or lipid bilayer),[7] the concentration of salts, the temperature, and the presence of molecular chaperones."


  1. Chaperone (protein) = "molecular chaperones are proteins that assist the non-covalent folding or unfolding and the assembly or disassembly of other macromolecular structures, but do not occur in these structures when the structures are performing their normal biological functions having completed the processes of folding and/or assembly." Source here.

  2. More about micelles here

share|improve this question

closed as unclear what you're asking by Chris, WYSIWYG, fileunderwater, GriffinEvo, anongoodnurse Dec 5 at 13:23

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I could also ask whether protein-folding is a micelle but I am interested about whey-protein here, usually some 80% protein of the content. I may be mixing up two different things: aggregation of clumps/balls due to folding and aggregation of balls due to something called micellization. And I do not know whether micellization and the folding can happen at the same time! –  user911 May 23 '12 at 14:00
A protein would not be considered a micelle since it is not a dispersed molecule but rather a molecule that is fully dissolved in water. However, if the protein aggregates, I would consider that the formation of a novel phase. –  bobthejoe May 23 '12 at 21:51
I have trouble understanding what you're asking here, are you interested in protein folding in general, in aggregation of proteins or in the whey proteins specifically? Typical micelles are also formed from lipids, not from proteins. –  Mad Scientist May 24 '12 at 8:42
@MadScientist: I tried to clarify that in my comment above, whey-protein specifially -- it is something easy for me to test, trial and see. Protein alone is a bit hard thing to trial...100% protein, err not in grocery store. (I am also trying to understand micelles deeper but that is another story.) –  user911 May 24 '12 at 13:56

1 Answer 1

Whey protein forms colloids. Colloid solutions form the boundary between solid and solute, i.e., a suspension (see medscape article on colloids). So they are not micelles. The latter are formed by fatty acids and other fatty substances with hydrophylic terminals. These substances dissolve (in water) on one end, and dissolve 'in itself' on the other end. Colloids are semi-dissolvable overall.

share|improve this answer