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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2010 10RDTMFRC723 Teagasc (UCC) €333,840

Project Title:

Controlling surface-activity of protein aggregates for their incorporation into nutritional formulation for optimised processibility

Project Coordinator:

Dr Andre Brodkorb

Project Abstract

Whey protein products are important ingredients for a variety of nutritional beverages. How/ever, whey proteins also pose one of the main challenges during processing because of their unstable nature. When exposed to thermal and other processing stresses (pH, salt, shear) they undergo conformational changes, aggregation and precipitation. One of the most widespread, yet insufficiently understood, technical challenges encountered during the processing of nutritional beverages (e.g., infant formula) containing whey protein ingredients, is viscosity development caused by protein denaturation/aggregation. Such viscosity development can lead to issues with inadequate mixing, poor and inefficient heat transfer, fouling of heat exchangers, sedimentation and insolubility. Pretreatment of whey proteins can, under circumstances, improve the control of protein aggregation, mainly by reducing self aggregation of whey proteins or interaction with casein. However, there is a general lack of understanding and predictability of whey protein functionality in nutritional beverages. Therefore, it is the aim of the project to (i) develop predictive models for whey protein denaturation during processing of nutritional beverages and (ii) develop whey protein ingredient manufacturing processes, which can stabilise proteins and provide predictable, controlled aggregation during thermal processing. The approaches will be based upon controlling interactions between whey proteins (P-lactoglobulin, a-lactalbumin, GIVIP etc) and caseins in concentrated systems by optimising formulations and process conditions. Predictions will be based on experimental evidence of model and commercial whey protein products during processing of nutritional formulations, such as infant formula, on both lab and pilot-scale at the Bio-functional engineering facility at Moorepark.

Final Report: