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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11F037 Teagasc (NUIG, TCD) €401,700

Project Title:

Decoupling pH & Ionic Effect in Protein Super-Concentrates

Project Coordinator:

Dr Mark Fenelon

Project Abstract

The dairy industry faces a new challenge of how to utilise an increasing milk pool and transfer resulting dairy produce to foreign markets. The aim of this project is to engineer concentrated protein systems ‘super concentrates’ by manipulation of protein charge density using novel anions to make exportable and more sustainable dairy ingredients. The term ‘super-concentrate’ is used in the current proposal to describe a protein system which has been concentrated, in a stable state, beyond a critical point at which colloidal stability would normally be compromised. Three approaches will be taken for conditioning casein and whey proteins for super-concentration:

  1. Structuring proteins for colloidal stability during super-concentration by decoupling the roles of pH and salt;
  2. Thermodynamic manipulation of binding sites on casein micelles for deposition of calcium phosphate nano-clusters;
  3. Use of novel amino acids and calcium salts to alter protein charge distribution during concentration.

Successful mechanisms from laboratory trials will be subjected to pilot scale protocols for concentration of dairy proteins using evaporation. The scope of the work centres on decoupling pH and ionic effect (addition a salt and/or amino acid) to elucidate aggregation effects during concentration and subsequent reconstitution after spray drying. Both pH and the distribution of proteins between micellar and serum phases prior to thermal treatment strongly influence aggregate formation on heating. The aim is to identify optimal / new mechanisms to control this aggregation to produce high concentration dairy protein systems for use in liquid and/or dehydrated form.

Final Report:

Not available yet.