Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/427
Date of Award
MS in Agriculture - Dairy Products Technology
Phillip S. Tong
There is considerable interest among food manufacturers to incorporate protein into food products in both developed and developing countries. Dairy proteins are excellent choices for many different applications, as they are known to have several nutritional and functional benefits. Membrane filtration techniques are often utilized as the preferred method of fractionation, due to the high throughput and continuous nature of the process. One such product produced from membrane filtration of skim milk is called milk protein concentrate. This product is valued for its high protein content, but it has historically exhibited poor solubility when reconstituted into water, which severely restricts the food applications for which it is suitable. There is some existing evidence that milk protein concentrates which contain elevated levels of sodium exhibit higher solubility upon reconstitution into water. The main objective of this thesis project was to demonstrate the effect of sodium chloride, added to diafiltration (DF) water utilized during the manufacturing process, on the solubility of milk protein concentrate.
It was observed that the addition of sodium chloride into diafiltration water at levels of 50 mM, 100 mM, and 150 mM had a beneficial effect on the solubility of milk protein concentrate across a variety of reconstitution conditions. For example, when milk protein concentrate was mixed for 1 h on a stage mixer at 23 °C ± 1 °C, a significant increase (p < 0.001) in mean solubility was observed when at least 50 mM NaCl had been incorporated into DF water. The incorporation of 50 mM NaCl into DF water significantly increased (p < 0.001) the mean solubility of milk protein concentrate from 59.81 % to between 64.34 % and 71.78 %. The addition of 100 mM NaCl significantly increased (p < 0.001) the solubility to between 88.80 % and 96.24 %, and the addition of 150 mM NaCl significantly increased (p = 0.005) the solubility to between 92.79 % and 100 %.
Minerals analysis of dry powders revealed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in levels of sodium. The addition of 50 mM NaCl into DF water was associated with a significant increase (p < 0.001) in powder Na content to between 2.48 mg/g and 7.44 mg/g. The addition of 100 mM NaCl into DF water was associated with a significant increase (p = 0.002) in powder Na content to between 5.80 mg /g and 10.75 mg/g, and the addition of 150 mM NaCl into DF water was associated with a significant increase (p = 0.001) in powder Na content to between 9.57 mg/g and 14.53 mg/g. A significant difference (p < 0.001) in magnesium level was also detected. Differences in calcium content were not found to be statistically significant (p = 0.016) at α = 0.01.
Preliminary observations of milk protein concentrate upon reconstitution were made using a confocal laser scanning microscopy method. This method showed evidence of possible differences in powder particle rehydration and affinity for lipid association between powder particles manufactured at different treatment levels. As the level of NaCl incorporated into DF water increased, particle structures upon rehydration appeared more porous, and the incidence of lipid material that was not associated with powder particles appeared to increase.
Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of sodium content in determining the solubility of milk protein concentrate.