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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2015 15F679 Teagasc (CIT, UCC, UU, WIT) €2,192,740

Project Title:

Developing the next generation of protein-enriched spray dried dairy powders with enhanced hydration properties (DAIRYDRY)

Project Coordinator:

Dr Mark Auty

Project Abstract

There is a growing market for high protein powdered dairy ingredients. These powders are often poorly soluble, causing major problems both in manufacturing and the enduser. There is a need to develop high protein powdered ingredients optimized for quality and ease of dispersion. Little is known of the mechanism of dairy powder hydration, and new methods and data are needed to understand the key factors controlling powder hydration. New process technology will be developed to efficiently hydrate primary ingredients before spray drying. Poor hydration of high protein powders is a generic problem frequently manifested as high sediment, surface free fat/flecks and fouling of process pipelines. The standard industry-accepted test for powder solubility is based on crude sedimentation. Little is known about how powder formulation/processing affects rehydration at the molecular and particularly the nano/microstructural scales due to the complexity of powder constituents, shear forces and speed of hydration. This project is an innovative major collaboration bringing together Ireland’s leading research centres in the areas of dairy science, ingredient and process dehydration technology, photonics, and imaging expertise. New protein-enriched dairy powders will be formulated and processed using pilot-scale liquid processing and spray drying facilities. A new Industry Advisory Board, comprising Irish dairy processors will ensure industry relevance. Physico-chemical properties will be characterized at the molecular, nano- and microscales in real time using advanced spectroscopy, microscopy and high speed imaging. Prototype photonics-based sensor devices including off-line flow cells and in-line infra-red sensors will be developed to measure the pattern of dispersion and dissolution of specific constituents such as lactose, proteins and milk salts using infra-red and Raman spectroscopy. New tools will thus be developed to characterise and measure hydration of individual powder particles for the first time. Results will be used to reverse engineer new base powders optimised for rehydration.

Final Report:

Not available yet.