• Aggregation;
  • β-lactoglobulin;
  • disulphide bonds;
  • heat denaturation;
  • nonvovalent bonds;
  • whey protein

Summary Solutions of a whey protein mixture were subjected to various time/temperature treatments, at pH 6.7. Kinetic and thermodynamic activation parameters for the rates of irreversible denaturation/aggregation of the principal whey protein component—β-lactoglobulin (β-lg) were followed by gel permeation. Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (non-dissociating, non-reducing conditions) and by SDS-PAGE (dissociating, non-reducing conditions). The rate of loss of native β-lg owing to the formation of disulphide linked protein aggregates (ksds-page) and the rate of formation of aggregates via both covalent and non-covalent bonds (kgp-fplc) showed similar biphasic Arrhenius plots. However, the break of the plot occurred at different points. The kgp-fplc values were higher than values of ksds-page for all the temperatures examined. There was a similar trend for the thermodynamic activation parameters implying that not all of the β-lg aggregates through thiol–disulphide interactions. Hydrophobically driven associations occur within the aggregates.