Use of Whey Protein Soluble Aggregates for Thermal Stability—A Hypothesis Paper

Authors

  • Kelsey N. Ryan,

    1. Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, U.S.A.
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  • Qixin Zhong,

    1. Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, U.S.A.
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  • Edward A. Foegeding

    Corresponding author
    1. Dept. of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695, U.S.A.
    • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, U.S.A.
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Direct inquiries to author Foegeding (E-mail: allen_foegeding@ncsu.edu).

Abstract

Forming whey proteins into soluble aggregates is a modification shown to improve or expand the applications in foaming, emulsification, gelation, film-formation, and encapsulation. Whey protein soluble aggregates are defined as aggregates that are intermediates between monomer proteins and an insoluble gel network or precipitate. The conditions under which whey proteins denature and aggregate have been extensively studied and can be used as guiding principles of producing soluble aggregates. These conditions are reviewed for pH, ion type and concentration, cosolutes, and protein concentration, along with heating temperature and duration. Combinations of these conditions can be used to design soluble aggregates with desired physicochemical properties including surface charge, surface hydrophobicity, size, and shape. These properties in turn can be used to obtain target macroscopic properties, such as viscosity, clarity, and stability, of the final product. A proposed approach to designing soluble aggregates with improved thermal stability for beverage applications is presented.

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