United States Patent Number: 5,326,579, July 5, 1994.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Rafael Jiménez-Flores was affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, May 2008, he is Professor of Dairy Science at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, CA.
The present invention relates to a process for the removal of cholesterol from a processed or unprocessed dairy product, which process comprises: (a) obtaining a processed or unprocessed dairy product containing cholesterol (b) contacting the dairy product at a temperature of between about 35° and 80° C. with an amount of saponin effective to bind up to about 90% of the cholesterol present in the dairy product; (c) contacting a temperature of between about 35° and 80° C the cholesterol: saponin with an effective amount of diatomaceous earth; (d) separating the insoluble cholesterol: saponin/diatomaceous earth by filtration or centrifugation; and (e) recovering the dairy product having a reduced content of cholesterol. The process particularly useful wherein the dairy product is selected from raw milk, pasteurized milk, raw cream, pasteurized cream, butteroil or anhydrous fat. The dairy product having a lowered cholesterol level is useful as a food to restrict cholesterol intake in a human being.
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