Dried milk protein concentrate is produced from skim milk using a combination of processes such as ultrafiltration (UF), evaporation or nanofiltration, and spray drying. It is well established that dried milk protein concentrate (MPC) that contains 80% (MPC80) and greater protein content (relative to dry matter) can lose solubility during storage as a result of protein-protein interactions and formation of insoluble complexes. Previous studies have shown that partial replacement of calcium with sodium improves MPC80 functionality and prevents the loss in solubility during storage. Those studies have used pH adjustment with the addition of acids, addition of monovalent salts, or ion exchange treatment of UF retentate. The objective of this study was to use carbon dioxide to produce MPC80 with improved functionality. In this study, reduced-calcium MPC80 (RCMPC) was produced from skim milk that was subjected to injection of 2,200 ppm of CO2 before UF, along with additional CO2 injection at a flow rate of 1.5 to 2 L/min during UF. A control MPC80 (CtrlMPC) was also produced from the same lot of skim milk without injection of CO2. The above processes were replicated 3 times, using different lots of skim milk for each replication. All the UF retentates were spray dried using a pilot-scale dryer. Skim milk and UF retentates were tested for ζ-potential (net negative charge), particle size, and viscosity. All the MPC were stored at room (22±1°C) and elevated (40°C) temperatures for 6 mo. Solubility was measured by dissolving the dried MPC in water at 22°C and at 10°C (cold solubility). Injection of CO2 and the resultant solubilization of calcium phosphate had a significant effect on UF performance, resulting in 10 and 20% loss in initial and average flux, respectively. Processing of skim milk with injection of CO2 also resulted in higher irreversible fouling resistances. Compared with control, the reduced-calcium MPC had 28 and 34% less ash and calcium, respectively. Injection of CO2 resulted in a significant decrease in ζ-potential and a significant increase in the size of the casein micelle. Moreover, RCMPC had a significantly higher solubility after storage at room temperature and at elevated temperature. This study demonstrates that MPC80 with a reduced calcium and mineral content can be produced with injection of CO2 before and during UF of skim milk.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge Midwest Dairy Food Research Center (Brookings, SD) and Dairy Research Institute (Rosemont, IL) for financial support.
© 2015 American Dairy Science Association.
- Carbon dioxide
- Milk protein concentrate