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Influence of mechanical integrity during pneumatic conveying on the bulk handling and rehydration properties of agglomerated dairy powders

Hazlett, R., Schmidmeier, C., O'Mahony, J.A.
Journal of food engineering 2021 v.288 pp. 110103
bulk density, dispersibility, dried milk, infant formulas, particle size, powders, rehydration, solubility, wettability, whey protein concentrate
Agglomerated powders are susceptible to breakdown on handling, most notably, during powder conveying. In this study, three agglomerated dairy powders (whey protein concentrate powder, WPC; fat-filled milk powder, FFMP and infant formula powder, IF) were conveyed through a custom-fabricated dispersion rig to understand the effects of agglomerate breakdown on dairy powder handling and application. All samples displayed significant breakdown on dispersion, evidenced by reducing particle size and increasing bulk density. The resulting flowability of these powders was impaired (flow index: WPC: 9.3 to 5.1, FFMP: 5.7 to 4.9 and IF: 16 to 10) via increased particle-particle interactions. The initial stages of rehydration were impeded by agglomerate breakage (42.9–47.0% wettability reduction and 7.22–16.4% dispersibility reduction), while powder solubility remained relatively unchanged. This study provides insights into the alterations of agglomerated dairy powder properties on agglomerate breakdown, while identifying the effects these alterations have on the functional properties of these powders.