Effect of pre-treatment of cheese milk on the composition and characteristics of whey and whey products

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Aalto-yliopiston teknillinen korkeakoulu | Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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TKK dissertations, 212
Cheese producers want to increase cheese yield. The yield is improved by enhanced transfer of milk proteins and fat to cheese. This requires modifications to the traditional cheese process. During high-temperature heat treatment (HH), whey proteins are partially denaturated and co-precipitated with the cheese matrix. Elevation of the protein concentration of milk enhances the formation of the protein network in which whey proteins and fat are enclosed. The protein concentration is usually increased by ultrafiltration (UF) or microfiltration (MF) membranes. UF concentrates all milk proteins in the cheese milk. With MF, the casein content of milk is increased, as part of the whey proteins are transferred to MF permeate. Often, HH treatment is used in combination with membrane processes. All these milk processing technologies have an effect on the quantity and quality of whey. Whey is processed into different products, such as demineralised whey powders (DWP), whey protein concentrates (WPC) or isolates (WPI). All of these are used in infant formulas as well as in numerous other applications in food industry. The changes in the cheese process may have an undesirable effect on the composition and functional characteristics of the whey product. In addition to stable functional properties, the nutritional content of the raw material of infant formulas and baby foods is expected to remain within the specification. In this work, the effects of HH, UF, combination of HH and UF (UFHH) and MF processes on the yield and nutritional quality of whey were studied. The focus was on proteins and amino acids, which are especially important to the infant formula industry. There were no significant differences in the protein and amino acid compositions of the whey products obtained by HH, UF and UFHH. The functional properties of DWP were not adversely affected by these treatments. However, the whey obtained by ceramic and polymeric MF was considered to be of limited use in infant formulas due to its inferior amino acid profile compared to the traditional whey. The applicability of MF cheese whey in other food industries is also questionable, as the gelling properties of whey proteins were adversely affected by the elevated concentration of caseinomacropeptides.
Supervising professor
Leisola, Matti, Prof.
Thesis advisor
Harju, Matti, Dr., Valio R & D
whey, heat treatment, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, functionality
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: M. Outinen, A. Heino, and J. Uusi-Rauva. Pre-treatment methods of Edam cheese milk. Effect on the whey composition. LWT - Food Science and Technology, in press. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2009.12.001.
  • [Publication 2]: M. Outinen, P. Rantamäki, and A. Heino. Effect of milk pretreatment on the whey composition and whey powder functionality. Journal of Food Science, in press. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01382.x.
  • [Publication 3]: A. Heino, J. Uusi-Rauva, and M. Outinen. 2008. Microfiltration of milk I: Cheese milk modification by micro- and ultrafiltration and the effect on Emmental cheese quality. Milchwissenschaft, volume 63, number 3, pages 279-282.
  • [Publication 4]: M. Outinen, A. Heino, and J. Uusi-Rauva. 2008. Microfiltration of milk II. Influence of the concentration factor on the composition of Emmental cheese milk and the κ-casein macropeptide content of the whey. Milchwissenschaft, volume 63, number 3, pages 305-308.
  • [Publication 5]: A. Heino, M. Outinen, and J. Uusi-Rauva. Removal of whey proteins from skimmed milk with polymeric microfiltration membranes. Milchwissenschaft, in press.
  • [Publication 6]: M. Outinen, A. Heino, and J. Uusi-Rauva. 2010. Polymeric microfiltration of skimmed milk in Edam cheese process I. Effect of the concentration factor on the composition of vat milk and whey. Milchwissenschaft, volume 65, number 1, pages 6-11.
  • [Publication 7]: M. Outinen, A. Heino, and J. Uusi-Rauva. Polymeric microfiltration of skimmed milk in Edam cheese process II. Effect on the composition and nutritional quality of whey protein concentrate. Milchwissenschaft, in press.
  • [Publication 8]: M. Outinen and P. Rantamäki. 2008. Whey protein isolate (WPI) gel hardness and structure influenced by the concentration of α-lactalbumin and κ-casein macropeptide. Milchwissenschaft, volume 63, number 1, pages 77-80.