Whether your goal is to build beefier muscles or simply fuel your day-to-day efficiently, protein powder is a pretty nifty supplement to keep on deck. But there are many options out there, and not all of them work for every person. As such, questions abound—protein isolate or concentrate? Whey or Casein? Then there are questions of diet and personal needs to consider. That’s Natreve’s specialty.
Among the brand’s dietary supplements for stress mitigation, immune strength, and more is one of the most unique protein powders on the market: Mooless animal-free whey protein. Yes, that is whey protein—protein typically derived from the leftover material of cheesemaking—created without animals. But, why? Here’s what you need to know.
This product was purchased by The Edge editors for review. We may earn commissions on reviewed products purchased through our links to retailer sites.
What Is Mooless Animal-Free Whey Protein?
Animal-free whey protein was an oxymoron until a company called Perfect Day created it a few years back. Usually, whey protein is made from leftover material from the cheesemaking process—it’s literally called whey—which obviously involves a lot of animals (and water). This means traditional whey is often subject to what animals are subject to, and can harbor stuff like hormones, lactose, gluten, and so on.
The Mooless protein isolate is made through some fancy science. Basically, they feed microflora—microscopic fungus and plant-type stuff—a milk protein DNA sequence, which is best thought of as a blueprint for whey. The microflora feasts, grows, and ferments into a chemically identical whey protein isolate made without any animal involvement. This means it’s animal-, hormone-, lactose-, and gluten-free. Interestingly, it’s still allergenic for those with sensitivities to milk protein because, despite not coming from an animal, the microflora still create “milk” protein.
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What’s Good About Mooless Animal-Free Whey Protein?
Fewer stomach gurgles
There are a number of reasons Mooless was gentler on my stomach than the usual whey protein I mix in my shakes. It’s most likely the fact that Mooless animal-free whey just doesn’t have a lot of the stuff in it that tends to bother people’s stomachs—no lactose, no gluten, no hormones, etc. Some popular whey protein blends go through several processes to filter out those materials in order to make them more palatable to the masses, however, not all do. So we’re willing to accept that the most likely cause of Mooless’ easy drinking is the absence of the stuff that troubles the gut.
I don’t know why more protein powder makers don’t sell their products pre-portioned as well as in a big ol’ tub. Mooless packets are all pre-measured and packaged up in single-drink mixes. This isn’t necessary for everyone, but for folks who really want to track their nutrient intake down to the last gram, it’s hugely helpful. A scoop simply isn’t as accurate as robots weighing the stuff out by the milligram.
On top of that, you could toss a few packets in your checked luggage in order to continue hitting your protein goals on vacation.
They’re also one of very few plastic and carbon neutral companies, and the first in the wellness world (or so they claim).
Mixes very well
Most whey proteins require several processes to make them more mixable. The animal-free whey in Mooless does as well, but I found the powder was much finer and more easily dissolvable in water (or into a shake) than standard whey protein. For texture people, this is more than a nice-to-have bonus—it effectively makes the product palatable.
What’s Not Good About Mooless Animal-Free Whey Protein?
Flavors are hit or (big) miss
I tried three flavors of Mooless—vanilla cupcake, strawberry, and cookies n’ cream—and each was a dramatically different experience, taste-wise. The vanilla cupcake was, in a word, awful. My partner and I each tried it at the same time and neither of us finished the drink. It was so cloying that it made me feel a little like a kid who just gorged on a pillowcase of Halloween candy.
(Editor’s Note: there is a fourth flavor—chocolate brownie—that I didn’t try for this review.)
The cookies n’ cream and strawberry flavors were drinkable, but left a bizarre aftertaste—something I’d describe as vegetal—for a half hour or so. I finished both 10-packs of those flavors, though, so it wasn’t the end of the world.
Maybe it’s the stevia and monk fruit extract sweetening agents in place of more common (but worse for you) sweeteners like sucralose? It’s hard to say, but the taste isn’t the reason to buy Mooless.
Relative value can be difficult to nail down if you’re talking vacuums, but protein powder makes things easy—assuming most protein powders boast similar protein per serving, how much does each serving cost?
Mooless costs $3 a serving for 20g of protein. If you’ve ever done the math yourself, you know that’s high. Optimum Nutrtion’s ever-popular Gold Standard Whey is half that, at around $1.50 per serving (depending on the size tub you buy). Vital Proteins Performance Protein is almost $1.25 per serving. Kaged Micropure Whey Isolate is $1.45 or so.
Is portability and limited stomach troubles—plus the animal-free nature of the product—worth effectively doubling the price of the product? That’s a question you have to ask yourself. My bet is, for most people, it’s not.
The Bottom Line
Mooless Animal-Free Whey Protein is an excellent buy for folks concerned with animal welfare and those looking for a protein powder that won’t bother their stomach. It’s also great for traveling. That said, for now, it’s significantly pricier than its peers, making it a tough sell for protein powder shoppers who are happy with their current regimen.