Physicochemical characterisation of protein ingredients prepared from milk by ultrafiltration or microfiltration for application in formulated nutritional products

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Crowley, Shane V.
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University College Cork
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Formulated food systems are becoming more sophisticated as demand grows for the design of structural and nutritional profiles targeted at increasingly specific demographics. Milk protein is an important bio- and techno-functional component of such formulations, which include infant formula, sports supplements, clinical beverages and elderly nutrition products. This thesis outlines research into ingredients that are key to the development of these products, namely milk protein concentrate (MPC), milk protein isolate (MPI), micellar casein concentrate (MCC), β-casein concentrate (BCC) and serum protein concentrate (SPC). MPC powders ranging from 37 to 90% protein (solids basis) were studied for properties of relevance to handling and storage of powders, powder solubilisation and thermal processing of reconstituted MPCs. MPC powders with ≥80% protein were found to have very poor flowability and high compressibility; in addition, these high-protein MPCs exhibited poor wetting and dispersion characteristics during rehydration in water. Heat stability studies on unconcentrated (3.5%, 140°C) and concentrated (8.5%, 120°C) MPC suspensions, showed that suspensions prepared from high-protein MPCs coagulated much more rapidly than lower protein MPCs. β-casein ingredients were developed using membrane processing. Enrichment of β-casein from skim milk was performed at laboratory-scale using ‘cold’ microfiltration (MF) at <4°C with either 1000 kDa molecular weight cut-off or 0.1 µm pore-size membranes. At pilot-scale, a second ‘warm’ MF step at 26°C was incorporated for selective purification of micellised β-casein from whey proteins; using this approach, BCCs with β-casein purity of up to 80% (protein basis) were prepared, with the whey protein purity of the SPC co-product reaching ~90%. The BCC ingredient could prevent supersaturated solutions of calcium phosphate (CaP) from precipitating, although the amorphous CaP formed created large micelles that were less thermo-reversible than those in CaP-free systems. Another co-product of BCC manufacture, MCC powder, was shown to have superior rehydration characteristics compared to traditional MCCs. The findings presented in this thesis constitute a significant advance in the research of milk protein ingredients, in terms of optimising their preparation by membrane filtration, preventing their destabilisation during processing and facilitating their effective incorporation into nutritional formulations designed for consumers of a specific age, lifestyle or health status
Protein , Milk , Infant formula , Clinical nutrition , Ready-to-drink , Heat stability , Membrane filtration , Colloids , Dairy , Flowability , Milk protein concentrate , Beta-casein , Solubility
Crowley, S. V. 2016. Physicochemical characterisation of protein ingredients prepared from milk by ultrafiltration or microfiltration for application in formulated nutritional products. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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