• Exploring the Use of a Modified High-Temperature, Short-Time Continuous Heat Exchanger with Extended Holding Time (HTST-EHT) for Thermal Inactivation of Trypsin Following Selective Enzymatic Hydrolysis of the β-Lactoglobulin Fraction in Whey Protein Isolate.

      Sáez, Laura; Murphy, Eoin; FitzGerald, Richard J; Kelly, Philip; Enterprise Ireland; TC20130001 (MDPI, 2019-08-26)
      Tryptic hydrolysis of whey protein isolate under specific incubation conditions including a relatively high enzyme:substrate (E:S) ratio of 1:10 is known to preferentially hydrolyse β-lactoglobulin (β-LG), while retaining the other major whey protein fraction, i.e., α-lactalbumin (α-LA) mainly intact. An objective of the present work was to explore the effects of reducing E:S (1:10, 1:30, 1:50, 1:100) on the selective hydrolysis of β-LG by trypsin at pH 8.5 and 25 °C in a 5% (w/v) WPI solution during incubation periods ranging from 1 to 7 h. In addition, the use of a pilot-scale continuous high-temperature, short-time (HTST) heat exchanger with an extended holding time (EHT) of 5 min as a means of inactivating trypsin to terminate hydrolysis was compared with laboratory-based acidification to <pH 3 by the addition of HCl, and batch sample heating in a water bath at 85 °C. An E:S of 1:10 resulted in 100% and 30% of β-LG and α-LA hydrolysis, respectively, after 3 h, while an E:S reduction to 1:30 and 1:50 led >90% β-LG hydrolysis after respective incubation periods of 4 and 6 h, with <5% hydrolysis of α-LA in the case of 1:50. Continuous HTST-EHT treatment was shown to be an effective inactivation process allowing for the maintenance of substrate selectivity. However, HTST-EHT heating resulted in protein aggregation, which negatively impacts the downstream recovery of intact α-LA. An optimum E:S was determined to be 1:50, with an incubation time ranging from 3 h to 7 h leading to 90% β-LG hydrolysis and minimal degradation of α-LA. Alternative batch heating by means of a water bath to inactivate trypsin caused considerable digestion of α-LA, while acidification to <pH 3.0 restricted subsequent functional applications of the protein.