Infant milk formula manufacture: process and compositional interactions in high dry matter wet-mixes
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Murphy, Eoin G.
University College Cork
Infant milk formula (IMF) is fortified milk with composition based on the nutrient content in human mother's milk, 0 to 6 months postpartum. Extensive medical and clinical research has led to advances in the nutritional quality of infant formula; however, relatively few studies have focused on interactions between nutrients and the manufacturing process. The objective of this research was to investigate the impact of composition and processing parameters on physical behaviour of high dry matter (DM) IMF systems with a view to designing more sustainable manufacturing processes. The study showed that commercial IMF, with similar compositions, manufactured by different processes, had markedly different physical properties in dehydrated or reconstituted state. Commercial products made with hydrolysed protein were more heat stable compared to products made with intact protein, however, emulsion quality was compromised. Heat-induced denaturation of whey proteins resulted in increased viscosity of wet-mixes, an effect that was dependant on both whey concentration and interactions with lactose and caseins. Expanding on fundamental laboratory studies, a novel high velocity steam injection process was developed whereby high DM (60%) wet-mixes with lower denaturation/viscosity compared to conventional processes could be achieved; powders produced using this process were of similar quality to those manufactured conventionally. Hydrolysed proteins were also shown to be an effective way of reducing viscosity in heat-treated high DM wet-mixes. In particular, using a whey protein concentrate whereby β-Lactoglobulin was selectively hydrolysed, i.e., α-Lactalbumin remained intact, reduced viscosity of wet-mixes during processing while still providing good emulsification. The thesis provides new insights into interactions between nutrients and/or processing which influence physical stability of IMF both in concentrated liquid and powdered form. The outcomes of the work have applications in such areas as; increasing the DM content of spray drier feeds in order to save energy, and, controlling final powder quality.
Infant milk formula manufacture , Heating of concentrated emulsions , Milk powders
Murphy, E. G. 2015. Infant milk formula manufacture: process and compositional interactions in high dry matter wet-mixes. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.