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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2010 10RDUCC702 UCC (Teagasc) €348,053

Project Title:

Development of novel whey ingredients by protein-carbohydrate conjugation

Project Coordinator:

Dr Seamus O' Mahony

Project Abstract

This project aims to develop next-generation whey protein ingredients/emulsifiers with significantly enhanced physicochemical functionality for application in premium nutritional beverages and powders. The application of whey protein ingredients (e.g., WPC, WPI, demineralised whey) in certain, strategically important, rapidly growing, value-added, nutritional products (such as ready-to-drink beverages and specialised infant formula) has been limited by:

  1. Poor solubility of whey protein at low pH of RTD beverages;
  2. Poor emulsification properties of hydrolysed whey protein;
  3. Physical instability of whey protein during processing

Recent scientific research has shown that the techno-functional properties of dairy protein ingredients can be significantly enhanced by covalent linkage (i.e., conjugation) of proteins to carbohydrates. This project will utilise the Maillard reaction (which occurs naturally during thermal processing) to conjugate intact and hydrolysed whey protein to maltodextrin with different dextrose equivalents. Following detailed characterisation, optimal conjugate systems will be identified and scaled-up for application in value-added food systems. Proof-of-concept testing will be conducted in model infant formula and protein-fortified RTD beverage systems to evaluate improvements in solubility, emulsification, thermal stability, mineral sensitivity, spray drying performance, powder physical stability and reconstitution properties. Such research outputs will create new ingredient and product application opportunities for whey protein ingredients.

Final Report:

Final Report 10RDUCC702 (pdf 727Kb)