Selective removal of fat from acid whey during whey protein concentrate manufacture : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Technology in Food Technology

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Massey University
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The purpose of this study was to develop a low cost technology for selective removal of lipids from acid whey during whey protein concentrate manufacture Attention was focused on gaining a better understanding of the structure and composition of the lipids in whey and ultrafiltration retentate The effects of varying dilutions, pH, salt concentration, temperature and holding time on the flocculation of lipids in the whey and retentate were investigated The composition and structure of lipids in acid whey and retentate were determined by ultracentrifugation, compositional analysis, integrated light scattering and confocal scanning laser microscopy (CLSM) techniques. Acid whey contained ~ 0.034% lipids The size of the milk fat globules (MFG) in whey varied from 0.1 and 10 μm. with the majority of the globules < 1 μm in diameter The retentate contained ~ 0.36% lipids The size of the MFG in the retentate ranged between 0.1 and 20 μm. generally larger than the MFG in the acid whey Investigation into the removal of lipids from acid whey revealed that flocculation of MFG in the acid whey occurred at temperatures between 40 and 50°C and at pH values from 5.8 to 7.0. It was observed that under these conditions, high-density lipid containing flocculent/precipitates was formed, which subsequently sedimented upon centrifugation (at 1126/g for 10 min) The MFG removed in the flocculent/precipitate appears to be either part of a calcium-MFG complex or MFG entrapped by precipitation of calcium precipitate Examination of the effects of physiochemical factors on the flocculation of MFG in between the retentate revealed that flocculation occurred upon dilution and at pH values between 4.5 and 4.7. It was found that at increasing dilutions, there was an increase in the removal of MFG and in the retention of protein in the supernatant. At retentate dilution of 1:6, the majority of the MFG was removed and a majority of protein was retained in the supernatant Flocculation of MFG in the diluted retentate was influenced by ionic strength (at Low pH values) of the system. This flocculation is thought to result from the hydrophobic association of proteins of MFGM, aggregates of serum proteins, lipoprotein complexes or individual denatured serum proteins Low fat whey protein concentrate powder (WPC) was produced on a pilot-scale plant using the process conditions determined at the laboratory scale to remove MFG from acid whey retentate. The resulting product contained ~ 1% fat. considerably less than the normal commercial WPC On a dry basis the protein content was ~ 96% as compared to ~ 85% in the commercial WPC Examination of the functionality of the low fat WPC revealed the heat-induced gels formed from 15% WPC were more elastic, had better water holding capacity, and were more "gelatinous" in nature Their gelation properties were markedly superior to the commercial WPCs currently manufactured Based on the results of this study, recommendations are made on possible areas of process improvement and development opportunities.
Whey, Fat content, Composition, Whey products