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Keywords:

  • fenton reaction;
  • hydrogen peroxide;
  • iron;
  • lactoperoxidase;
  • whey

Abstract

 Whey is a value-added product that is utilized in many food and beverage applications for its nutritional and functional properties. Whey and whey products are generally utilized in dried ingredient applications. One of the primary sources of whey is from colored Cheddar cheese manufacture that contains the pigment annatto resulting in a characteristic yellow colored Cheddar cheese. The colorant is also present in the liquid cheese whey and must be bleached so that it can be used in ingredient applications without imparting a color. Hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl peroxide are 2 commercially approved chemical bleaching agents for liquid whey. Concerns regarding bleaching efficacy, off-flavor development, and functionality changes have been previously reported for whey bleached with hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl peroxide. It is very important for the dairy industry to understand how bleaching can impact flavor and functionality of dried ingredients. Currently, the precise mechanisms of off-flavor development and functionality changes are not entirely understood. Iron reactions in a bleached liquid whey system may play a key role. Reactions between iron and hydrogen peroxide have been widely studied since the reaction between these 2 relatively stable species can cause great destruction in biological and chemical systems. The actual mechanism of the reaction of iron with hydrogen peroxide has been a controversy in the chemistry and biological community. The precise mechanism for a given reaction can vary greatly based upon the concentration of reactants, temperature, pH, and addition of biological material. In this review, some hypotheses for the mechanisms of iron reactions that may occur in fluid whey that may impact bleaching efficacy, off-flavor development, and changes in functionality are presented.

Practical Application:  Cheese whey is bleached to remove residual carotenoid cheese colorant. Concerns regarding bleaching efficacy, off-flavor development, and functionality changes have been reported for whey proteins bleached with hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl peroxide. It is very important for the dairy industry to understand how whey bleaching can impact flavor and functionality of dried ingredients. Proposed mechanisms of off-flavor development and functionality changes are discussed in this hypothesis paper.