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Perceived Creaminess and Viscosity of Aggregated Particles of Casein Micelles and κ-Carrageenan

Flett, Kelly L., Duizer, Lisa M., Goff, H. Douglas
Journal of food science 2010 v.75 no.5 pp. S255
sensation, creaming, texture, viscosity, protein aggregates, casein, particles, carrageenan, mouthfeel, sensory properties, novel foods, dairy products, beverages
Creaminess, in terms of sensory science, is a very complex and multifaceted term. It is a descriptor often reserved for fat-containing dairy emulsions, however, has also been used to describe nondairy food emulsions. In the food industry, it is a great challenge to decrease fat content while maintaining the original quality and sensory characteristics of a food product. An aggregated particle consisting of casein micelles and κ-carrageenan has the potential to enhance the perceived creaminess of a low-fat food product, due to its colloidal size. In this study, these aggregates were incorporated into nonfat dairy beverages and subjected to sensory studies. In the 1st sensory study, the aggregates, either as a powdered ingredient or a fresh ingredient, were added to thickened dairy beverages and compared to similar beverages containing skim milk powder and either no fat or 2% dairy fat. The panelists found the aggregate-containing beverages to be creamier and more viscous in comparison to the control beverages. In the 2nd sensory study, fresh and powdered aggregates, at 2 concentrations, were added to a sweetened nonfat dairy beverage and compared to a similar beverage containing 2% dairy fat. The results of this panel showed that aggregates, especially at increased concentrations, were perceived as more creamy than the fat-containing beverage. Panelists described the creaminess of the aggregates as more thick and viscous while the dairy fat was described more in terms of mouth-coating. Thus, we have developed a nonfat milk ingredient that can contribute creaminess to a food product. This study shows potential applications of aggregates of casein micelles and κ-carrageenan as a fat-mimetic or creaminess-enhancing ingredient. These particles may be produced as either fresh aggregates directly formed in a dairy product or as powdered aggregates added to dairy or nondairy products.