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Evolution of water proton nuclear magnetic relaxation during milk coagulation and syneresis: structural implications

Tellier, C., Mariette, F., Guillement, J.P., Marchal, P.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1993 v.41 no.12 pp. 2259-2266
skim milk, coagulation, water, hydrogen ions, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, rennet, gelation, entropy, whey
NMR transverse relaxation times of water were obtained in skim milk after renneting and during the syneresis of the curd. New data analysis using the maximum entropy method was applied to relaxation curves to investigate the distribution of water between the whey and the curd during the shrinkage of the milk clot. It is shown that the T2 relaxation behavior is best presented as a continuous spectrum of relaxation times. Quantitative estimation of the amount of water inside the curd and in the whey can then be obtained at any stage of syneresis in an undisturbed way. Furthermore, transverse relaxation data were interpreted in terms of the microscopic structure of the water compartment inside the curd, and information about the water pore geometry and size distribution is deduced by inversion of NMR transverse relaxation data.