Rheological Properties of Concentrated Skim Milk: Influence of Heat Treatment and Genetic Variants on the Changes in Viscosity During Storage
Published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Volume 51, Issue 22, October 22, 2003, pages 6488-6494.
Heat treatment during manufacturing of milk powder is one of the most important tools for manipulation of its functional properties, and it is the basis of the classification of these proteins into low-, medium-, and high-heat types. Slight differences in the sequences of the major proteins in milk (genetic variants) seem to have also a significant effect in milk powder processing (U.S. patent). Therefore, the effects of high-temperature storage and heat treatment on skim milk of defined genetic variants of β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) were measured. The samples had 45% total solids, the temperature of aging was 50°C, and the heat treatment was 90°C for 10 min prior to evaporation. Measurements on shear rate and on apparent viscosity were determined for each sample. During storage of the concentrated milk, the apparent viscosity and yield values increased markedly, and the age-dependent increase in viscosity in heat-treated concentrated skim milks was much more pronounced than in those prepared from unheated skim milks. The increase in apparent viscosity and yield value with storage time was notably different for milks containing different genetic variants. Unheated concentrated milks containing the B variant of β-LG showed the most rapid increase in apparent viscosity with storage time, whereas the viscosity increase was slowest in the concentrate containing the A variant. In contrast, heat-treated concentrated milks containing the A variant of β-LG showed the most rapid increase in viscosity with storage time, whereas the viscosity increase was slowest in the concentrate containing the AB variant. The changes in apparent viscosity of concentrated milk were largely reversible under high shear during the early stages of storage, but samples stored for a long time showed irreversible changes in apparent viscosity. Particle size analysis confirmed irreversible aggregation and fusion of casein particles during storage.