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Keywords:

  • association;
  • casein micelle;
  • high-pressure homogenization;
  • nanostructure;
  • triclosan

ABSTRACT:  The association of triclosan (TCS), a widely used hydrophobic compound, to the bovine casein micelle is investigated in this study. The use of high-pressure homogenization (HPH) at 0, 100, 200, and 300 MPa was introduced as a method for the dissociation of casein micelles in a skim milk/ethanol solution (1: 1, v/v) in the presence of TCS at 20, 80, and 160 mg/L where ethanol evaporation served as the final step for TCS association to caseins. The majority of TCS (over 80%) was associated with the caseins regardless of initial TCS concentration or applied pressure. TCS association to caseins was enhanced by 30% with continued pressurization to 300 MPa. Micellar dissociation and reassociation was found to be an irreversible process as evidenced by microscopy images. Pressurization to 300 MPa resulted in the formation of an integrated protein network of casein proteins and noncovalently linked whey proteins where the solubility of TCS was enhanced up to 40 times its reported water solubility at the highest initial TCS level of 160 mg/L. Reformed micelles exhibited Newtonian flow behavior at all pressure levels. This study provides evidence for the solubility enhancing quality of TCS through the solvent-mediated pressure/shear-induced dissociation of casein proteins.