• dietary supplements;
  • milk beverage;
  • nutraceuticals;
  • shelf life;
  • thermal stability

ABSTRACT:  Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), fluid skim milk can be used to serve as a vehicle to deliver certain metabolites (nutraceuticals or new dietary ingredients), which provide health benefits as related to aging problems for those over 55. This opens a new avenue for an increase in milk consumption and may replace taking pills. Milk beverages enriched with various nutraceutical ingredients (soy isoflavones, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, creatine, and lactoferrin) were thermally processed at different combinations of temperatures from 72 to 138 °C for different holding times using a Microthermics pilot plant thermal processing unit and were incubated at refrigeration, room, or elevated storage temperatures. Residual concentrations of the active compounds were measured by high performance liquid chromatography or by immunodifusion (for lactoferrin) and degradation kinetics were determined. Results showed a very good stability of isoflavones and chondroitin sulfate in the milk environment while glucosamine, lactoferrin, and creatin showed only limited stability at either processing or storage. Glucosamine destabilized the milk protein system at boiling temperature or higher, which caused drastic precipitation in the heat exchangers. Nevertheless, all the tested nutraceutical compounds can be used to design milk beverage dietary supplements but an overrun of over 25% may be required for some of them.