Evaluation of front-face fluorescence for assessing thermal processing of milk

Gerry P. Schamberger, Theodore P. Labuza

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59 Scopus citations


The use of front-face fluorescence spectroscopy (FFFS) was assessed for its ability to monitor the development of Maillard browning in milk during thermal processing. Skim milk was processed using a Microthermics thermal processing system for a range of conditions from 70°C to 140°C from 3 to 30 s. Milk was analyzed using FFFS, Hunter L*, a*, b*, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), tryptophan, and optical density. FFFS and HMF were found to be the most sensitive methods for distinguishing the heat treatment of milk. Activation energies of 126 and 190 kJ/ mol were found for HMF and FFFS, respectively. A strong correlation was found between these 2 methods. As a fast nonpreparatory method, FFFS is quite useful for evaluating the effect on the 1st stages of the Maillard reaction caused by the heat processing of milk. This work indicates that FFFS with no sample preparation has the potential to be of use as an online instrument for monitoring and control of thermal processing of milk; it can be applied as a process analytical technology (PAT) as is being done in the pharmaceutical industry with other methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C69-C74
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Fluorescence
  • Maillard reaction
  • Microthermics
  • Milk
  • Pasteurization


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