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Influence of casein on the formation of whey protein microparticles obtained by dry heating at an alkaline pH

Schong, Elise, Famelart, Marie-Hélène
Food research international 2019 v.122 pp. 96-104
casein, crosslinking, food industry, functional properties, heat, ingredients, microparticles, pH, powders, sodium caseinate, water content, whey protein isolate
Dry heating (DH) at 100 °C for 36 h of a whey protein isolate powder conditioned at pH 9.5 leads to the formation of stable, large and porous whey protein microparticles (PMs), resulting from the crosslinking of proteins inside the powder. These PMs could be used as high-viscosity food ingredients. Casein, present as a contaminant in whey protein powders, has been shown to become incorporated into the PMs. In this study, we investigated the effect of adding increasing amounts of sodium caseinate to whey protein powders on the formation of PMs during DH at 100 °C for 36 h. In addition, we studied PM formation during DH of a micellar casein-enriched milk protein powder (Casmic). The browning index of the dry-heated powders, and the size and water content of the microparticles were also characterized. We confirmed that sodium caseinate was incorporated into the PMs. The highest PM D[4,3] values (270 μm) were observed for powders with around 40% caseinate. Powders without added caseinate displayed D[4,3] values of 150 μm. The yield of conversion of proteins into PMs increased from 0.6 to 0.8 g/g with caseinate addition, whereas the amount of water entrapped in the PMs decreased from around 30 to 20 g/g. PMs were also formed by DH of the Casmic powder, but these particles were smaller, with sizes of around 80 μm. In conclusion, our study shows that the process of DH at pH 9.5 could be applied to all milk proteins to obtain PMs with functional properties that could be used in the food industry.