• β-lactoglobulin;
  • α-lactalbumin;
  • selective denaturation;
  • fractionation;
  • thermal treatment

ABSTRACT: In this study a method to obtain native α-lactalbumin with a high degree of purity of 98% (m/m) and recovery of 75% (m/m) by selective denaturation of β-lactoglobulin was developed. To achieve this goal, the thermal pretreatment of whey protein concentrate was optimized varying the composition of the liquid whey protein concentrate in terms of total protein, lactose and calcium content, and pH value. The kinetics of the thermal denaturation of α-la and β-lg were then investigated at predetermined optimal composition (protein content 5 to 20 g/L, lactose content 0.5 g/L, calcium content 0.55 g/L, and pH 7.5). Using the activation energies and reaction rate constants obtained, lines of equal effects for targeted denaturation degrees of α-la and β-lg were calculated. Depending on total protein content, an area of optimal heating temperature/time conditions was identified for each protein concentration level.