• The ultra-rapid chilling of lamb carcasses

      McGeehin, Brian; Sheridan, James J.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Teagasc, 1999-01)
      The practice in Irish commercial abattoirs is to chill lamb carcasses for a period of approximately 16 hours at 2 - 4°C, at which stage the core temperature of the carcass has reached 7°C. Chilling in this manner is considered necessary because it is generally held that faster chilling leads to toughening of the meat. The objective of this work was to develop a continuous ultra-rapid chilling system for lambs which would reduce carcass chilling time without adversely affecting the quality of the meat.
    • Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from potato peels: profiling and kinetic modelling

      Kumari, Bibha; Tiwari, Brijesh; Hossain, Mohammad B; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; FIRM/11/F/050 (Wiley, 2017-02-14)
      Ultrasound‐assisted extraction (UAE) at 33 and 42 kHz has been investigated in the extraction of polyphenols from peels of two potato varieties, cream‐skinned Lady Claire (LC) and pink‐skinned Lady Rosetta (LR), commonly used in snack food production. Extraction efficacy between the UAE‐untreated (control) and the UAE‐treated extracts was assessed on the total phenolic content and antioxidant capacities (DPPH and FRAP). Application of UAE showed significantly higher recovery of phenolic compounds compared to solid–liquid extraction process alone. Lower ultrasonic frequency (33 kHz) was more effective in recovering polyphenols compared to 42 kHz ultrasonic treatment. The liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry revealed that chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid were the most prevalent phenolics in LR peels, whereas caffeic acid was dominant in LC peels. Peleg's equation showed a good correlation (R2 > 0.92) between the experimental values and the predicted values on the kinetics of UAE of phenolic compounds.
    • Ultrasound-Assisted Marination: Role of Frequencies and Treatment Time on the Quality of Sodium-Reduced Poultry Meat

      Inguglia, Elena S.; Burgess, Catherine M.; Kerry, Joseph P.; Tiwari, Brijesh K.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (MDPI AG, 2019-10-11)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of high-power ultrasound (US) to accelerate marination of chicken breast; the effect of ultrasonic frequencies and marination times were investigated on samples containing full sodium levels (FS) or 25% sodium reduction, either by reducing NaCl (R50) or by its partial substitution with KCl (SR). Chicken breasts were marinated in plastic bags immersed in an ultrasonic bath operating with a frequency of 25, 45 or 130 kHz for 1, 3 or 6 h at a temperature of 2.5 ± 0.5 ◦C. Chicken marinated using US had a significantly higher uptake (p < 0.05) of sodium compared to control samples (no US) marinated for the same amount of time. No significant changes were observed in the quality parameters of sonicated chicken samples compared to controls. However, significant decreases (p < 0.05) in lipid oxidation were observed in SR samples when treated by US. These results suggest the use of ultrasound in the meat processing industry as a novel technology for enhancing marination processes and formulation of reduced sodium meat products.
    • Understanding and Exploiting Phage–Host Interactions

      Stone, Edel; Campbell, Katrina; Grant, Irene; McAuliffe, Olivia; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Teagasc; 2016034; 0027 (MDPI, 2019-06-18)
      Initially described a century ago by William Twort and Felix d’Herelle, bacteriophages are bacterial viruses found ubiquitously in nature, located wherever their host cells are present. Translated literally, bacteriophage (phage) means ‘bacteria eater’. Phages interact and infect specific bacteria while not affecting other bacteria or cell lines of other organisms. Due to the specificity of these phage–host interactions, the relationship between phages and their host cells has been the topic of much research. The advances in phage biology research have led to the exploitation of these phage–host interactions and the application of phages in the agricultural and food industry. Phages may provide an alternative to the use of antibiotics, as it is well known that the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections has become an epidemic in clinical settings. In agriculture, pre-harvest and/or post-harvest application of phages to crops may prevent the colonisation of bacteria that are detrimental to plant or human health. In addition, the abundance of data generated from genome sequencing has allowed the development of phage-derived bacterial detection systems of foodborne pathogens. This review aims to outline the specific interactions between phages and their host and how these interactions may be exploited and applied in the food industry.
    • Unravelling the metabolic impact of SBS-associated microbial dysbiosis: Insights from the piglet short bowel syndrome model

      Pereira-Fantini, Prue; Byars, Sean G; Pitt, James; Lapthorne, Susan; Fouhy, Fiona; Cotter, Paul D.; Bines, Julie E.; Science Foundation Ireland; SFI/12/RC/2273 (Springer Nature, 2017-02-23)
      Liver disease is a major source of morbidity and mortality in children with short bowel syndrome (SBS). SBS-associated microbial dysbiosis has recently been implicated in the development of SBS-associated liver disease (SBS-ALD), however the pathological implications of this association have not been explored. In this study high-throughput sequencing of colonic content from the well-validated piglet SBS-ALD model was examined to determine alterations in microbial communities, and concurrent metabolic alterations identified in urine samples via targeted mass spectrometry approaches (GC-MS, LC-MS, FIA-MS) further uncovered impacts of microbial disturbance on metabolic outcomes in SBS-ALD. Multi-variate analyses were performed to elucidate contributing SBS-ALD microbe and metabolite panels and to identify microbe-metabolite interactions. A unique SBS-ALD microbe panel was clearest at the genus level, with discriminating bacteria predominantly from the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla. The SBS-ALD metabolome included important alterations in the microbial metabolism of amino acids and the mitochondrial metabolism of branched chain amino acids. Correlation analysis defined microbe-metabolite clustering patterns unique to SBS-ALD and identified a metabolite panel that correlates with dysbiosis of the gut microbiome in SBS.
    • Up-grading of low value meats and by-products for use in consumer foods

      Kenny, Tony; Desmond, Eoin; Ward, Patrick (Teagasc, 1999-02)
      Animal offals can be divided into (1) edible offals and by-products including fats, blood, and low-grade trimmings such as poultry skin and pork hock meat; (2) extracts from edible offals for use as ingredients in food products; (3) inedible offals; (4) hides and skins; (5) raw materials for extraction of pharmaceuticals or chemicals; (6) raw materials for sundry by-products.
    • Upgrading the cold chain for consumer food products

      Gormley, Ronan T.; Brennan, Martine H.; Butler, Francis (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      The prepared consumer foods sector in Ireland is undergoing sustained dynamic growth. Products that are distributed chilled or frozen require a cold chain and there is potential to increase product quality by optimising the cold chain. This potential prompted the current study.
    • Use of 31P NMR and FTIR to investigate key milk mineral equilibria and their interactions with micellar casein during heat treatment

      Boiani, Mattia; Fenelon, Mark A.; Fitzgerald, Richard J.; Kelly, Philip M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Elsevier, 2018-02-16)
      The thermal treatment of milk is one of the key processes routinely performed in the dairy industry. Several modifications occur in milk during heating, particularly with respect to its mineral equilibrium. As the temperature increases, the solubility of calcium and phosphate decreases leading to precipitation in the casein micelle as casein phosphate nanocluster. Recently, 31P NMR and Fourier Transform Infrared have been demonstrated to be capable of monitoring changes to its nanocluster. In this study, the effect of temperature on nanocluster during heating of milk to temperatures ranging from 25 °C to 80 °C followed by subsequent cooling were studied. It was also demonstrated that key ionic components of the mineral equilibria behaved differently with temperature, e.g., calcium influence was evident only at lower temperature, while the opposite was the case with phosphate. It was also shown that micellar casein concentration was influential at all temperatures, most notably at lower values.
    • Use of Lactic Acid Bacteria to Reduce Methane Production in Ruminants, a Critical Review

      Doyle, Natasha; Mbandlwa, Philiswa; Kelly, William J.; Attwood, Graeme; Li, Yang; Ross, R. Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Leahy, Sinead; European Union; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; et al. (Frontiers Media SA, 2019-10-01)
      Enteric fermentation in ruminants is the single largest anthropogenic source of agricultural methane and has a significant role in global warming. Consequently, innovative solutions to reduce methane emissions from livestock farming are required to ensure future sustainable food production. One possible approach is the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Gram positive bacteria that produce lactic acid as a major end product of carbohydrate fermentation. LAB are natural inhabitants of the intestinal tract of mammals and are among the most important groups of microorganisms used in food fermentations. LAB can be readily isolated from ruminant animals and are currently used on-farm as direct-fed microbials (DFMs) and as silage inoculants. While it has been proposed that LAB can be used to reduce methane production in ruminant livestock, so far research has been limited, and convincing animal data to support the concept are lacking. This review has critically evaluated the current literature and provided a comprehensive analysis and summary of the potential use and mechanisms of LAB as a methane mitigation strategy. It is clear that although there are some promising results, more research is needed to identify whether the use of LAB can be an effective methane mitigation option for ruminant livestock.
    • Using induced chlorophyll production to monitor the physiological state of stored potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.)

      Garnett, Jessica; Wellner, Nikolaus; Mayes, Andrew G; Downey, Gerard; Kemsley, E.K.; Teagasc Walsh fellowship Programme; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, U.K.; 2014028 (Elsevier, 2018-08-04)
      A Visible/Near-infrared (Vis/NIR) spectrometer equipped with a fibre-optic probe was used to stimulate and measure chlorophyll production in potato tubers, at low levels that produce no visible greening in the skin. Subtle responses to changes in the light stimulus were also tracked. When used with a static experimental setup, these measurements are precise. However, the technique is very sensitive to the exact geometry of the tuber-probe arrangement, and careful positioning of the probe is crucial. Complementary studies established that tissue under the apical buds (‘eyes’) has greater capacity to produce chlorophyll than other locations on the tuber surface. A long-term study of multiple tubers suggested that different cultivars behave differently in terms of the rate of chlorophyll production. These behavioural differences may be related to the batch dormancy status; validating this potential relationship is the focus of ongoing work.
    • Using polysaccharides for the enhancement of functionality of foods: A review

      Lu, Xu; Chen, Jinghao; Guo, Zebin; Zheng, Yafeng; Rea, Mary C.; Su, Han; Zheng, Xiuhua; Zheng, Baodong; Miao, Song; National Natural Science Foundation of China; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-02-10)
      Background: Flavor, taste and functional ingredients are important ingredients of food, but they are easily lost or react during heating and are not stable. Carbohydrate-carbohydrate interactions (CCIs) and carbohydrate-protein interactions (CPIs) are involved in a variety of regulatory biological processes in nature, including cell differentiation, proliferation, adhesion, inflammation and immune responses. Polysaccharides have high molecular weights and many intramolecular hydrogen bonds, can be easily modified chemically and biochemically to enhance bioadhesive and biostability of tissues. Therefore, polysaccharides are the foundation for building complex and stable biosystems that are non-toxic with highydrophilicity and easily biodegradable. Scope and approach: In this review, we summarize the principles and applications of polysaccharide delivery systems in a variety of foods. Key findings and conclusions: This review focuses on the self-assembly of carbohydrates with complex structures and discusses the latest advances in self-assembly systems. The host-guest complexes formed by polyvalent sugar conjugates have the potential to provide, control or target delivery or release systems. They can also extend the shelf life of food and prevent oxidation and isomerization during food storage. Moreover, very few studies have outlined a comprehensive overview of the use of various types of food polysaccharide matrixes for the assembly and protection of food ingredients, which is a very important area for further study.
    • Using rejection thresholds to determine acceptability of novel bioactive compounds added to milk-based beverages

      Murray, Niamh M.; Jacquier, Jean Christophe; O'Sullivan, Michael; Hallihan, Áine; Murphy, Eoin; Feeney, Emma L.; O'Riordan, Dolores; Enterprise Ireland; TC2013001 (Elsevier, 2018-11-03)
      This study aimed to identify the amount of crude casein-hydrolysate (HMW) and a low molecular weight sub-fraction (LMW) thereof that could be incorporated into strawberry- and vanilla-flavoured beverages before the bitterness/taste became objectionable to panellists. The beverages were spiked with increasing amounts of hydrolysate and a 2-alternative forced choice (2-AFC) design was employed to determine rejection thresholds (RjT). Results showed a higher amount of HMW, than LMW, could be incorporated into the beverages before the taste became objectionable and the type of flavouring did not have a significant effect on RjT. Following the 2-AFC, panellists rated the bitterness of the hydrolysates (in water) on a general Labelled Magnitude Scale (gLMS). Results showed no significant differences between the bitterness perception of the HMW and LMW. However, there was considerable variation in the panellists’ perception of bitterness, suggesting possible evidence for segmentation. Using this rationale, each panel was segmented into two groups: those who rated the bitterness of the hydrolysate samples as ≤20 on the gLMS and, those who rated the bitterness as ≥75 on the gLMS, and RjT were examined within them. Although a trend was seen for those most sensitive to bitterness in water, to have a lower acceptance for the level in the beverages, the RjT of the segmented groups were not significantly different from each other. Evaluation of hydrolysates in water does therefore not appear to be suitable for predicting consumer acceptance of hydrolysates in food matrices; highlighting the importance of testing food ingredients in the final food product.
    • Using ultrasound to measure beef tenderness and fat content

      Allen, Paul; Dwyer, Catherine; Mullen, Anne Maria; Buckin, Vitaly; Smyth, Cormac; Morrissey, Siobhan (Teagasc, 2001-04)
      A new acoustical technique was developed for the quantitative analysis of the texture and composition of meat and meat products. This new approach exploits the fact that the acoustical velocity and attenuation of waves propagated through meat are affected by its mechanical properties, thus allowing characterisation in terms of its composition and eating quality. The method is based on a new high-resolution ultrasonic resonator. This technique is rapid and uses small samples. Procedures for the acoustical analysis of meat were developed and the results were correlated with taste panel and shear force measurements of meat tenderness.
    • Vangl2 disruption alters the biomechanics of late spinal neurulation leading to spina bifida in mouse embryos

      Galea, Gabriel L.; Nychyk, Oleksandr; Mole, Matteo A.; Moulding, Dale; Savery, Dawn; Nikolopoulou, Evanthia; Henderson, Deborah J.; Greene, Nicholas D. E.; Copp, Andrew J. (The Company of Biologists, 2018-03-12)
      Human mutations in the planar cell polarity component VANGL2 are associated with the neural tube defect spina bifida. Homozygous Vangl2 mutation in mice prevents initiation of neural tube closure, precluding analysis of its subsequent roles in neurulation. Spinal neurulation involves rostral-to-caudal ‘zippering’ until completion of closure is imminent, when a caudal-to-rostral closure point, ‘Closure 5’, arises at the caudal-most extremity of the posterior neuropore (PNP). Here, we used Grhl3Cre to delete Vangl2 in the surface ectoderm (SE) throughout neurulation and in an increasing proportion of PNP neuroepithelial cells at late neurulation stages. This deletion impaired PNP closure after the ∼25-somite stage and resulted in caudal spina bifida in 67% of Grhl3Cre/+Vangl2Fl/Fl embryos. In the dorsal SE, Vangl2 deletion diminished rostrocaudal cell body orientation, but not directional polarisation of cell divisions. In the PNP, Vangl2 disruption diminished mediolateral polarisation of apical neuroepithelial F-actin profiles and resulted in eversion of the caudal PNP. This eversion prevented elevation of the caudal PNP neural folds, which in control embryos is associated with formation of Closure 5 around the 25-somite stage. Closure 5 formation in control embryos is associated with a reduction in mechanical stress withstood at the main zippering point, as inferred from the magnitude of neural fold separation following zippering point laser ablation. This stress accommodation did not happen in Vangl2-disrupted embryos. Thus, disruption of Vangl2-dependent planar-polarised processes in the PNP neuroepithelium and SE preclude zippering point biomechanical accommodation associated with Closure 5 formation at the completion of PNP closure.
    • Variation in the quality of meat from Irish steers at the time of slaughter.

      Moloney, Aidan P; Mullen, Anne Maria; Maher, S.C.; Buckley, D.J.; Kerry, Joseph P. (Teagasc, 01/01/2004)
      There is no information on the variation in quality, in particular tenderness, that exists in Irish Beef nor is there information on the variation that would remain if optimum practices were imposed at all stages of the beef production chain. Evaluation of the success of measures to improve beef consistency requires information on existing variation and the minimum variation achievable.The objectives of this project were (i) to establish the variation that exists in the quality of meat from Irish cattle, (ii) to quantify the minimum variation in meat quality that can be achieved in a practical beef production system, (iii) to determine the effects and mechanisms of additional sources of variation. The conclusions from this project are: • The M. longissimus dorsi (loin) was found to be more variable than the M. semimembranosus (topside) for most quality attributes examined (tenderness, sarcomere length and pH). The scale of variation within the loin was similar to that reported by the other research groups within the EU and US. Heifers were more variable than steers for most attributes, while there was no consistent classification effect on the variability of meat quality attributes. • Tenderness was equally variable in meat from genetically similar steers, managed similarly, compared to commercial steers randomly selected from a factory lairage but matched for weight and grade.This was likely a result of both groups being crossbred beef cattle of similar age, fat score, carcass weight and managed identically post-mortem. However, variation in tenderness of both groups was less than that observed in a survey of commercial throughput (experiment 1). This decrease is attributed to better pre-and-post-slaughter handling practices. • The data suggest that selection of sires (within a breed) with better than average conformation has no deleterious effect on the eating quality of beef of their progeny.A more comprehensive comparison of sires within a breed and between breeds is required to confirm the generality of this conclusion. • In a comparison of genotypes, gender and slaughter weights, there was no evidence that variation around the mean value for tenderness differed between breeds or liveweights after 14 days ageing. Bulls were more variable than steers for some quality traits but the variation in tenderness was similar for bulls and steers after 14 days ageing. • While optimising the management of animals during the pre and post-slaughter period reduced variation in tenderness, some residual variation remained. A large percentage of the residual variation in tenderness (Warner Bratzler shear force) after 2 and 7 days post-mortem was explained by proteolysis (breakdown of myofibrillar proteins).Variation in tenderness (Warner Bratzler shear force) after 2 days post-mortem was largely explained by phosphates (energy) and proteolysis, while sensory tenderness was largely explained by phosphates and glycolytic potential. • Further work is required to reduce residual variation in Irish beef and to determine the causes of this variation.
    • Very fast chilling in beef

      Troy, Declan J.; Joseph, Robin; European Union; AIR-CT94-1881 (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Very fast chilling (VFC) of beef reduces the temperature to -1ºC after 5 hours post mortem throughout its mass. The process has many potential benefits (Joseph,1996) including the production of tender meat and greater process efficiency in the meat plant.
    • Virulence Gene Sequencing Highlights Similarities and Differences in Sequences in Listeria monocytogenes Serotype 1/2a and 4b Strains of Clinical and Food Origin From 3 Different Geographic Locations

      Poimenidou, Sofia V.; Dalmasso, Marion; Papadimitriou, Konstantinos; Fox, Edward M.; Skandamis, Panagiotis N.; Jordan, Kieran; European Union; 265877 (Frontiers, 2018-06-05)
      The prfA-virulence gene cluster (pVGC) is the main pathogenicity island in Listeria monocytogenes, comprising the prfA, plcA, hly, mpl, actA, and plcB genes. In this study, the pVGC of 36 L. monocytogenes isolates with respect to different serotypes (1/2a or 4b), geographical origin (Australia, Greece or Ireland) and isolation source (food-associated or clinical) was characterized. The most conserved genes were prfA and hly, with the lowest nucleotide diversity (π) among all genes (P < 0.05), and the lowest number of alleles, substitutions and non-synonymous substitutions for prfA. Conversely, the most diverse gene was actA, which presented the highest number of alleles (n = 20) and showed the highest nucleotide diversity. Grouping by serotype had a significantly lower π value (P < 0.0001) compared to isolation source or geographical origin, suggesting a distinct and well-defined unit compared to other groupings. Among all tested genes, only hly and mpl were those with lower nucleotide diversity in 1/2a serotype than 4b serotype, reflecting a high within-1/2a serotype divergence compared to 4b serotype. Geographical divergence was noted with respect to the hly gene, where serotype 4b Irish strains were distinct from Greek and Australian strains. Australian strains showed less diversity in plcB and mpl relative to Irish or Greek strains. Notable differences regarding sequence mutations were identified between food-associated and clinical isolates in prfA, actA, and plcB sequences. Overall, these results indicate that virulence genes follow different evolutionary pathways, which are affected by a strain's origin and serotype and may influence virulence and/or epidemiological dominance of certain subgroups.
    • Virulence Gene Sequencing Highlights Similarities and Differences in Sequences in Listeria monocytogenes Serotype 1/2a and 4b Strains of Clinical and Food Origin From 3 Different Geographic Locations

      Poimenidou, Sofia V.; Dalmasso, Marion; Papadimitriou, Konstantinos; Fox, Edward M.; Skandamis, Panagiotis N.; Jordan, Kieran; European Union; 265877 (Frontiers, 2018-06-05)
      The prfA-virulence gene cluster (pVGC) is the main pathogenicity island in Listeria monocytogenes, comprising the prfA, plcA, hly, mpl, actA, and plcB genes. In this study, the pVGC of 36 L. monocytogenes isolates with respect to different serotypes (1/2a or 4b), geographical origin (Australia, Greece or Ireland) and isolation source (food-associated or clinical) was characterized. The most conserved genes were prfA and hly, with the lowest nucleotide diversity (π) among all genes (P < 0.05), and the lowest number of alleles, substitutions and non-synonymous substitutions for prfA. Conversely, the most diverse gene was actA, which presented the highest number of alleles (n = 20) and showed the highest nucleotide diversity. Grouping by serotype had a significantly lower π value (P < 0.0001) compared to isolation source or geographical origin, suggesting a distinct and well-defined unit compared to other groupings. Among all tested genes, only hly and mpl were those with lower nucleotide diversity in 1/2a serotype than 4b serotype, reflecting a high within-1/2a serotype divergence compared to 4b serotype. Geographical divergence was noted with respect to the hly gene, where serotype 4b Irish strains were distinct from Greek and Australian strains. Australian strains showed less diversity in plcB and mpl relative to Irish or Greek strains. Notable differences regarding sequence mutations were identified between food-associated and clinical isolates in prfA, actA, and plcB sequences. Overall, these results indicate that virulence genes follow different evolutionary pathways, which are affected by a strain's origin and serotype and may influence virulence and/or epidemiological dominance of certain subgroups.
    • The virulence of E. coli 0157:H7 isolated from Irish sheep and pigs to humans

      Lenahan, Mary; Sheridan, James J.; O'Brien, Stephen (Teagasc, 2008-02)
      Investigations were carried out at five sheep and five pig export abattoirs situated in the Republic of Ireland to determine the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in these animals at slaughter. This is the first study for the presence of E. coli O157:H7 on sheep and pigs to be carried out in Ireland. Faeces and pre- and post-chill carcass swabs were collected from pigs over a one year period between January and December 2004. Samples were collected from sheep over a 13-month period between February 2005 and February 2006. The pig study recovered E. coli O157:H7 from 0.24 % (n=4) of 1680 porcine samples while the sheep study isolated the pathogen from 2.1 % (n=33) of 1600 ovine samples. PCR analysis of E. coli O157:H7 isolates determined that they carried the virulence genes vt1, vt2, eaeA and hlyA typically associated with clinical illness in humans. The results presented indicate that Irish sheep and pigs are reservoirs for E. coli O157:H7 which may be potentially harmful to humans.
    • Water sorption and hydration in spray-dried milk protein powders: Selected physicochemical properties

      Maidannyk, Valentyn; McSweeney, David J.; Hogan, Sean A.; Miao, Song; Montgomery, Sharon; Auty, Mark A.E.; McCarthy, Noel A.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 15-F-679 (Elsevier, 2020-08-22)
      Low and high protein dairy powders are prone to caking and sticking and can also be highly insoluble; with powder storage conditions an important factor responsible for such issues. The aim of this study focused on the bulk and surface properties of anhydrous and humidified spray-dried milk protein concentrate (MPC) powders (protein content ~40, 50, 60, 70 or 80%, w/w). Water sorption isotherms, polarized light and scanning electron micrographs showed crystallized lactose in low protein powders at high water activities. High protein systems demonstrated increased bulk diffusion coefficients compared to low protein systems. Glass transition temperatures, α-relaxation temperatures and structural strength significantly decreased with water uptake. CLSM measurements showed that humidified systems have slower real time water diffusion compared to anhydrous systems. Overall, the rate of water diffusion was higher for low protein powders but high protein powders absorbed higher levels of water under high humidity conditions.