Postprint version. Published in Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 99, Issue 3, March 1, 2016, pages 1791-1795.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2015-10158.
A previous study in our laboratory showed that addition of 150 mM NaCl or KCl into diafiltration water improved the solubility of freshly made milk protein concentrate 80 (MPC80). In the present study, the objectives were (1) to evaluate the solubility of NaCl- or KCl-treated MPC80 samples kept at varying temperatures and then stored for extensive periods at room temperature (21°C ± 1°C); and (2) to determine if MPC80 samples stored at different temperatures and protein conformation can be grouped or categorized together. Freshly manufactured MPC80 samples were untreated (control), processed with NaCl, or processed with KCl. One set of sample bags was stored at 4°C; second and third sets of bags were kept at 25°C and 55°C for 1 mo (31 d) and then transferred to room temperature (21°C ± 1°C) storage conditions for 1 yr (365 d). Samples were tested for nitrogen solubility index (NSI) and for protein changes by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Analysis of variance results for NSI showed 2 significantly different groupings of MPC80 samples. The more soluble group contained samples treated with NaCl or KCl and stored at either 4°C or 25°C. These samples had mean NSI >97.5%. The less soluble groups contained all control samples, regardless of storage temperature, and NaCl- or KCl-treated samples stored at 55°C. These samples had mean NSI from 39.5 to 58%. Within each of these groups (more soluble and less soluble), no significant differences in solubility were detected. Pattern recognition analysis by soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA) was used to assess protein changes during storage by monitoring the amide I and amide II (1,700−1 to 1,300 cm−1) regions. Dominant bands were observed at 1,385 cm−1 for control, 1,551 cm−1 for KCl-treated samples, and 1,694 cm−1 for NaCl-treated samples. Moreover, SIMCA clustered the MPC80 samples stored at 4°C separately from samples stored at 25°C and 55°C. This study demonstrates that (1) the addition of NaCl or KCl during MPC80 manufacture reduces the deleterious changes in solubility upon prolonged storage at 4°C or 25°C, and (2) the solubility of samples stored at 55°C is poor irrespective of salt treatment.