The aim of the Food Chemistry & Technology Department is to help food processors maintain competitive advantage and secure premium markets. Our Dairy research focuses on cheese, infant formula and dairy based ingredients; Meat research, focusing on quality, whole chain management and recovering value from meat processing streams; Cereal research focusing on product quality and innovation in the bakery industry

Recent Submissions

  • Therapeutic effects of antibiotics loaded cellulose nanofiber and κ-carrageenan oligosaccharide composite hydrogels for periodontitis treatment

    Johnson, Athira; Kong, Fanbin; Miao, Song; Lin, Hong‑Ting Victor; Thomas, Sabu; Huang, Yi‑Cheng; Kong, Zwe‑Ling (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-10-22)
    Periodontitis is an infammatory disease that can lead to the periodontal pocket formation and tooth loss. This study was aimed to develop antimicrobials loaded hydrogels composed of cellulose nanofbers (CNF) and κ-carrageenan oligosaccharides (CO) nanoparticles for the treatment of periodontitis. Two antimicrobial agents such as surfactin and Herbmedotcin were selected as the therapeutic agents and the hydrogels were formulated based on the increasing concentration of surfactin. The proposed material has high thermal stability, controlled release, and water absorption capacity. This study was proceeded by investigating the in vitro antibacterial and anti-infammatory properties of the hydrogels. This material has strong antibacterial activity against periodontal pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Moreover, a signifcant increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) production and a decrease in bioflm formation and metabolic activity of the bacteria was observed in the presence of hydrogel. Besides, it reduced the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, transcription factor, and cytokines production in human gingival fbroblast cells (HGF) under infammatory conditions. In conclusion, the hydrogels were successfully developed and proven to have antibacterial and anti-infammatory properties for the treatment of periodontitis. Thus, it can be used as an excellent candidate for periodontitis treatment.
  • Self-Agglomeration in Fluidised Beds after Spray Drying

    Fitzpatrick, John J.; Wu, Shaozong; Cronin, Kevin; Miao, Song; China Scholarship Council; 201606350091 (MDPI AG, 2020-06-05)
    Many powders are produced in spray-drying processes from liquid concentrates. Self-agglomeration can be performed in a fluidised bed where the spray-dried powder is agglomerated using the liquid concentrate as the binder material. This has advantages over traditional wet agglomeration in fluid beds using liquid binders (such as water or sugar solutions). These include thermal energy savings and no additional non-aqueous binder components added. The work presented has two parts. The first part is experimental, which investigated the self-agglomeration of whey protein isolate (WPI) powder as a case-study. It showed that satisfactory agglomeration was achieved with a great improvement in the wettability of the powder. The second part of the work performed thermal energy analysis to estimate the energy saving potential of self-agglomeration, and how this is influenced by binder to powder ratio and binder solids concentration. For the WPI case-study, the analysis showed there is potential for a 19% saving in thermal energy requirement for self-agglomeration in comparison to traditional agglomeration using a water binder.
  • Visible and NIR hyperspectral imaging and chemometrics for prediction of microbial quality of beef Longissimus dorsi muscle under simulated normal and abuse storage conditions

    Achata, Eva M.; Oliveira, Marcia; Esquerre, Carlos A.; Tiwari, Brijesh K; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Irish Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine; 13/FM/508 (Elsevier BV, 2020-06)
    There is a need to develop a rapid technique to provide real time information on the microbial load of meat along the supply chain. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a rapid, non-destructive technique well suited to food analysis applications. In this study, HSI in both the visible and near infrared spectral ranges, and chemometrics were studied for prediction of the bacterial growth on beef Longissimus dorsi muscle (LD) under simulated normal (4 °C) and abuse (10 °C) storage conditions. Total viable count (TVC) prediction models were developed using partial least squares regression (PLS-R), spectral pre-treatments, band selection and data fusion methods. The best TVC prediction models developed for storage at 4 (RMSEp 0.58 log CFU/g, RPDp 4.13, R2p 0.96), 10 °C (RMSEp 0.97 log CFU/g, RPDp 3.28, R2p 0.94) or at either 4 or 10 °C (RMSEp 0.89 log CFU/g, RPDp 2.27, R2p 0.86) were developed using high-level data fusion of both spectral regions. The use of appropriate spectral pre-treatments and band selection methods was key for robust model development. This study demonstrated the potential of HSI and chemometrics for real time monitoring to predict microbial growth on LD along the meat supply chain.
  • Preparation, structure-property relationships and applications of different emulsion gels: Bulk emulsion gels, emulsion gel particles, and fluid emulsion gels

    Lin, Duanquan; Kelly, Alan L.; Miao, Song; China Scholarship Council; 201708350111 (Elsevier BV, 2020-08)
    Background In recent years, there has been increasing interest in emulsion gels, due to their better stability during storage and potential for prolonged intestinal drug release compared to emulsions. There are three kinds of emulsion gels, classified according to their morphological properties: bulk emulsion gels, emulsion gel particles and liquid emulsion gels. Scope and approach This paper provides a comprehensive review of the mechanisms and procedures of different methods for preparing different emulsion gels and relationships between structures and properties of emulsion gels. The applications of emulsion gels in the food industry are finally discussed. Key findings and conclusions Different emulsion gels result from different preparation methods, and have various structure-property relationships and applications. Many methods can be used to prepare bulk emulsion gels, involving different matrix materials, processing techniques, and purposes. This can result in different structures of gel matrices and emulsion droplets, and interactions between them, which can influence the structures of bulk emulsion gels and then their mechanical and release properties. On the other hand, extrusion and impinging aerosol methods are two methods for preparing emulsion gel particles, while liquid emulsion gels can be prepared by Pickering emulsions and disrupted gel systems. Rheological, syneresis and swelling properties are critical for gel particle suspensions, while flow behavior and release properties are important to liquid emulsion gels. In addition, fat replacements and delivery systems are main applications of emulsion gels in the food industry. However, current research has mainly focused on bulk emulsion gels, so further studies on emulsion gel particles and liquid emulsion gels are required.
  • Effect of concentrations of alginate, soy protein isolate and sunflower oil on water loss, shrinkage, elastic and structural properties of alginate-based emulsion gel beads during gelation

    Lin, Duanquan; Kelly, Alan L.; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Miao, Song; China Scholarship Council; 201708350111 (Elsevier BV, 2020-11)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of concentrations of sodium alginate (0.5%–1.5% in the water phase of an emulsion), soy protein isolate (SPI, 0.5%–2.0% in the water phase) and oil phase (10%–40% in the emulsion) on the properties (including water loss, shrinkage, morphological, elastic, and structural properties) of emulsion gel beads during gelation (0–30 min). Gel beads were prepared with external gelation by dropping emulsions into CaCl2 solutions using pipettes. The Young's modulus of emulsion gel beads kept increasing during gelation before reaching a plateau accompanied by syneresis (i.e., water loss), shrinkage, and structural tightening. SPI absorbed at the surface of oil droplets could prevent re-coalescence of droplets during gelation. Additionally, increasing concentrations of sodium alginate and oil increased the Young's modulus of gel beads. Water loss decreased with increasing contents of alginate, SPI and oil, and shrinkage could be diminished by increasing alginate and oil contents.
  • Use of an NIR MEMS spectrophotometer and visible/NIR hyperspectral imaging systems to predict quality parameters of treated ground peppercorns

    Esquerre, Carlos A.; Achata, Eva M.; García-Vaquero, Marco; Zhang, Zhihang; Tiwari, Brijesh K; O'Donnell, Colm P. (Elsevier BV, 2020-09)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of a micro-electromechanical NIR spectrophotometer (NIR-MEMS) and visible (Vis)/NIR hyperspectral imaging (HSI) systems to predict the moisture content, antioxidant capacity (DPPH, FRAP) and total phenolic content (TPC) of treated ground peppercorns. Partial least squares (PLS) models were developed using spectra from peppercorns treated with hot-air, microwave and cold plasma. The spectra were acquired using three spectroscopy systems: NIR-MEMS (1350–1650 nm), Vis-NIR HSI (450–950 nm) and NIR HSI (957–1664 nm). Very good predictions of TPC (RPD > 3.6) were achieved using NIR-MEMS. The performance of models developed using Vis-NIR HSI and NIR HSI were good or very good for DPPH (RPD > 3.0), FRAP (RPD >2.9) and TPC (RPD > 3.8). This study demonstrated the potential of NIR-MEMS and Vis-NIR/NIR HSI to predict the moisture content, antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content of peppercorns. The spectroscopy technologies investigated are suitable for use as in-line PAT tools to facilitate improved process control and understanding during peppercorn processing.
  • A novel approach for dynamic in-situ surface characterisation of milk protein concentrate hydration and reconstitution using an environmental scanning electron microscope

    Cenini, V.L.; Gallagher, L.; McKerr, G.; McCarthy, Noel; McSweeney, D. J.; Auty, M. A. E.; O'Hagan, M. A. E.; Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland; DAIRY DRY 15-F-679 (Elsevier BV, 2020-11)
    Composition and relative humidity (RH) can have a profound impact on the physical (flowability, stickiness) and functional (reconstitution) properties of milk powder (MP) and therefore its quality, storage stability and shelf-life. Conventional microscopic techniques are not capable of dynamically imaging the effect of RH on MP at high magnification. The aim of this study was to develop a novel method to characterise in-situ and in real time the hydration and reconstitution of five spray-dried milk protein concentrates (MPCs) using an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM). ESEM was employed to observe the surface microstructure of MPC powders with varying protein content (38.63%–80.94%, w/w), at various RH values ranging from 35% to over 100%. MPC powders were imaged by an ESEM without any prior preparation, and with minimal physical sample alteration, thus providing fundamental insights into MPC hydration and reconstitution. ESEM surface analysis showed particle swelling in all MPCs, and that with increasing protein content, hydration and reconstitution efficiency decreased. For the first time, dynamic particle surface fusion was observed. Such fusion can result in stickiness and caking over time. ESEM methods developed here may provide mechanistic insights into the effects of RH during storage. Surface re-arrangement was also observed in all MPCs, but was impeded in MPC70 and MPC80 thus indicating that this is the rate limiting step for MPC reconstitution. This work validates the use of an ESEM to dynamically characterise MPC powder hydration and reconstitution in-situ and in real-time, at both high magnification and spatial resolution.
  • Moderate electric fields and ohmic heating as promising fermentation tools

    Gavahian, Mohsen; Tiwari, Brijesh K (Elsevier BV, 2020-08)
    Fermentation is an important bioprocess in food production and its improvements can bring profits to the food industry. Therefore, researchers are exploring the feasibility of applying emerging processing technologies such as moderate electric field (MEF) and ohmic heating to improve this bioprocess. This study demonstrated the current status, potential benefits, mechanisms, and limitations of innovative MEF- and ohmic-assisted fermentation. Research showed that these techniques can positively affect Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Saccharomyces fermentations that are involved in the production of bakery (e.g., leavened breads), dairy (e.g., yogurt), and alcoholic products. Also, volumetric ohmic heating can accelerate fermentation by providing optimum fermentation temperatures quickly. MEF-induced stress-response conditions can affect microbial metabolism and fermentation products. Besides, electrical fields may affect the fermentation process by altering the substrate such as releasing its micronutrients. These approaches can be considered prospective industrial fermentation tools. Further economic studies and in-depth research on their effects on fermentation by-products are expected in the near future.
  • Impact of freezing on the physicochemical and functional properties of low–moisture part–skim mozzarella

    To, Chak Ming; Vermeir, Lien; Rebry, Ferre; Kerkaert, Barbara; Van der Meeren, Paul; Guinee, Tim; Flemish Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders; HBC.2017.0297 (Elsevier BV, 2020-07)
    Low–moisture part–skim (LMPS) mozzarella cheeses were held at 4 °C for 0, 2 or 8 d before freezing to −20 °C. The cheeses were frozen at a rate of 0.6, 2.0 or 8.0 °C h−1 and held frozen at −20 °C for 1, 6, 12 or 44 weeks. After freezing, cheeses were stored at 4 °C for 16–37 d, resulting in a total storage time at 4 °C (before and after freezing) of 24–37 d (frozen–thawed mozzarella). Control mozzarella was stored at 4 °C for 25–37 d. The control and frozen–thawed cheeses were assayed for composition, primary proteolysis, moisture distribution, texture profile analysis and melting characteristics after similar storage times at 4 °C. Freezing under the evaluated conditions resulted in reduced firmness of the unheated cheese but did not significantly affect the properties of the heated cheese. The results suggest that freezing may be effectively applied to control or extend the functional shelf–life of LMPS mozzarella shipped to long–distance markets.
  • Evaluation of production of Cheddar cheese from micellar casein concentrate

    Li, Bozhao; Waldron, David S.; Tobin, John T.; Subhir, Surabhi; Kelly, Alan L.; McSweeney, Paul L.H.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 15F683 (Elsevier BV, 2020-08)
    The production of Cheddar cheese using micellar casein concentrate (MCC), a novel milk ingredient powder with a high casein content (∼92%), was evaluated. Four types of Cheddar cheese were manufactured and ripened for 180 days from the following starting materials: standardised control milk (control), skim milk with cream (SC), reconstituted MCC with cream (MC) and reconstituted low-heat skim milk powder with cream (PC). Only minor differences were found in composition between treatments, but MC cheese showed higher levels of proteolysis compared with other treatments, linked to significantly higher plasmin and chymosin activities. No differences were observed in hardness between treatments (60, 120 and 180 days), but the springiness and cohesiveness of MC and PC cheeses were significantly higher than that of the control and SC cheeses at 60, 120 and 180 days. The use of casein-dominant dairy streams thus has the potential for production of Cheddar cheese with tailored functionality.
  • Conjugation of soy protein isolate (SPI) with pectin by ultrasound treatment

    Ma, Xiaobin; Hou, Furong; Zhao, Huanhuan; Wang, Danli; Chen, Weijun; Miao, Song; Liu, Donghong; National Natural Science Foundation of China; China Postdoctoral Science Foundation; International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2020-11)
    The Maillard reaction in the aqueous system with and without ultrasound treatment was used to prepare conjugates between soy protein isolate (SPI) and citrus pectin (CP)/apple pectin (AP). Ultrasound treatment at a power of 450 W and a temperature of 70 °C significantly accelerated the conjugation processes between SPI and pectin samples and led to much greater grafting extents compared to the traditional wet heating. A higher degree of graft of the SPI-CP conjugates was achieved at a shorter ultrasound duration compared to the SPI-AP conjugates, possibly attributed to the larger molecular weight and the more flexible structure of AP. SDS-PAGE analysis confirmed the formation of SPI-pectin conjugates. Analysis of the protein secondary and tertiary structures suggested that the attachment of CP or AP changed the spatial conformation of SPI and led to a looser protein structure. In addition to the grafting process, ultrasound was also observed to play a marked role in unfolding the SPI resulting in more favorable structures for the Maillard reaction. Furthermore, the application of ultrasound to the conjugation process significantly increased the surface hydrophobicity and emulsifying properties of both conjugates, indicating that ultrasound can be a desirable method for protein-polysaccharide conjugation.
  • Breakage of infant milk formula through three different processing methods and its influence on powder properties

    Han, Jie; Fitzpatrick, John; Cronin, Kevin; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Miao, Song; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier BV, 2020-10)
    Dairy powder breakage has always occurred during production and transportation though few studies on it have been published. This paper examines the breakage of infant formula using three different processing methods (laboratory high-speed mixing, lab-scale pneumatic conveying, and factory-scale blending) and the effect of breakage on powder properties. In both mixing and high-velocity pneumatic conveying, particles were broken into smaller entities and the particle size of samples significantly decreased. Particle breakage was accompanied by a significant decrease in porosity and increase in density and surface free fat. This in-turn decreased the rehydration properties of samples, especially for high-speed mixing, while breakage had only a small influence on powder flowability. By contrast, some agglomeration occurred during blending for short time in the blender and the particle size did not decrease (P > 0.05) even for blending at longer time, thus, there were only minor impacts on physical and functional properties of powders.
  • Thermal gelation and hardening of whey protein beads for subsequent dehydration and encapsulation using vitrifying sugars

    Hansen, Mackenzie M.; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Roos, Yrjö H.; Lauritzson Foundation; University College Cork (Elsevier BV, 2020-08)
    Solid beads were developed using whey protein isolate (WPI) and sugars for controlled hardening and vitrification of wall materials. A concentrated mixture of WPI and sucrose in water, intended for use as gelling and glass-forming ingredients, respectively, was used to form liquid feeds with varying pH, viscosities, surface tensions, solids contents and compositions. Using a peristaltic pump, feeds flowed continuously through silicon tubing and formed droplets. Rapid solidification occurred when droplets were submerged in heated, stirred oil; beads were harvested for vacuum oven drying. Dispersions were characterized by viscosity and flow testing. Dried beads were characterized for porosity, hardness, diameters, and water activity, and microstructures were analyzed with microscopy. Drop-forming dispersions comprised of 40% WPI with 10% sucrose by mass possessed structure forming and shape retention qualities. Feed composition influenced characteristics of the final product more strongly than processing conditions including heating times and temperatures.
  • Fabrication of Ligusticum chuanxiong polylactic acid microspheres: A promising way to enhance the hepatoprotective effect on bioactive ingredients

    Ge, Huifang; Lin, Peixuan; Luo, Taiduan; Yan, Zhiming; Xiao, Jianbo; Miao, Song; Chen, Jichen; National Natural Science Foundation of China; Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province; No. 31201350; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2020-07)
    Ligusticum chuanxiong extract-polylactic acid sustained-release microspheres (LCE-PLA) are fabricated in this study for enhancing both duration and hepatoprotective efficacy of the main bioactive ingredients. LCE-PLA in vitro release, cytotoxicity and in vivo hepatoprotective effect were discussed to evaluate its efficiency and functionality. Results demonstrated that the optimal drug-loading rate and encapsulation efficiency of tetramethylpyrazine (TMP, the main active ingredient) were 8.19%, 83.72%, respectively. The LCE-PLA in vitro release of TMP showed prolong 5-fold and in vitro cytotoxicity declined 25.00% compared with naked LCE. After 6 weeks of in vivo intervention in high fat diet mice, both liver aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels were higher in LCE-PLA group than LCE group. The above results indicated that TMP had a higher bioavailability of hepatoprotection when encapsulation of LCE-PLA was applied. The current study has provided a promising novel way to enhance the efficacy of short half-life ingredients.
  • Influence of sodium hexametaphosphate addition on the functional properties of milk protein concentrate solutions containing transglutaminase cross-linked proteins

    Power, Orla M.; Fenelon, Mark; O'Mahony, James A.; McCarthy, Noel; Teagasc Wash Fellowship Programme (Elsevier BV, 2020-05)
    The functional properties of milk protein concentrate (MPC) powders are often hindered by their poor solubility. Calcium chelating salts have been shown to improve powder solubility, but generally their action contributes to higher viscosity due to disintegration of casein micelles and higher levels of serum-phase calcium. To help mitigate increases in viscosity associated with calcium chelation, transglutaminase (TGase), an enzyme that covalently crosslinks protein, was employed in an effort to stabilise the casein micelle structure. Sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) was added to control (C-MPC) and TGase crosslinked MPC (TG-MPC) dispersions at concentrations of 5, 12.5 and 25 mm prior to analysis. TG-MPC dispersions had lower viscosity than C-MPC dispersions across all SHMP concentrations studied. Crosslinking limited micelle dissociation on SHMP addition and led to greater retention of the white colour of the protein dispersions, while the turbidity of C-MPC dispersions decreased with increasing SHMP addition.
  • Review of near-infrared spectroscopy as a process analytical technology for real-time product monitoring in dairy processing

    Pu, Yuan-Yuan; O'Donnell, Colm; Tobin, John T.; O'Shea, Norah; Dairy Processing Technology Centre; Enterprise Ireland; TC/2014/0016 (Elsevier BV, 2020-04)
    Real-time process/product monitoring can be achieved using suitable process analytical technologies (PAT) to improve process efficiencies and product quality. In the dairy industry, near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has been utilised as a laboratory analytical method (off-line) for compositional analysis of dairy products since the 1970s. Recent advances in NIR technology and instrumentation have widened its applications from a bench-top analytical instrument to a promising PAT tool for on-line and in-line implementation. This review focuses on the use of NIR technology for real-time monitoring of dairy products, by briefly outlining the measurement principle, NIR instrument configurations, in-line sampling methods, calibration models development, some practical considerations for process installation, and current state of the art in on-line and in-line NIR applications (2012 to date) for continuous process monitoring in the production of dairy products. The challenges and additional resources required to improve production efficiencies using NIR spectroscopy are also discussed.
  • Fabrication and characterization of highly re-dispersible dry emulsions

    Lu, Wei; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Kelly, Alan L.; Miao, Song; Shanghai Pujiang Program; Shanghai Jiao Tong University; 19PJ1406500; 19X100040028 (Elsevier BV, 2020-05)
    Highly re-dispersible dry emulsions were obtained through drying konjac glucomannan (KGM) or monoglyceride (MG) structured O/W emulsions. Emulsion powders showed different morphologies, particle size and surface microstructures, depending on the drying method (spray/freeze-drying), and the emulsion compositions. The introduction of a low level of KGM (0.15 wt%) and MG (1 wt%) significantly reduced the level of maltodextrin as wall material. All powdered emulsions showed rapid re-hydration in water. Compared with original emulsions before drying, re-constituted emulsions from spray-dried powders showed slightly increased mean droplet size while that from freeze-dried ones showed slightly decreased mean droplet size. KGM significantly decreased the initial viscosity (p < 0.05) but increased the creaming stability (p < 0.05) of re-constituted emulsions. Measurement of β-carotene content in re-constituted oil droplets fractions indicated that emulsion powders have good re-dispersibility in water (>93% in average). The findings in this study make it possible to obtain emulsion powders and their reconstitutions with desired properties by structuring the original emulsions before drying, and confirmed the possibility of KGM and MG in producing low-cost emulsion powders and the potential of these dry emulsions as novel solid delivery carriers for lipophilic components.
  • Dynamic in situ imaging of semi-hard cheese microstructure under large-strain tensile deformation: Understanding structure-fracture relationships

    Lamichhane, Prabin; Auty, Mark A.E.; Kelly, Alan L.; Sheehan, Diarmuid (JJ); Dairy Research Ireland; Ornua; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; RMIS 6259 (Elsevier BV, 2020-04)
    Changes in the microstructure of semi-hard cheeses were observed in situ under tensile deformation by placing a microtensile stage directly under a confocal scanning laser microscope, and recording force/displacement data simultaneously. On tensile deformation, detachment of fat globules and their subsequent release from the cheese matrix were observed, suggesting that they are weakly bonded to or entrapped within the cheese matrix. Moreover, an inherent micro-defect was observed at a curd granule junction within the cheese matrix, which fractured along the curd granule junction under tensile deformation, suggesting that such micro-defects could be a key to the formation of undesirable slits or cracks. Furthermore, the fracture behaviour of semi-hard cheese varied with ripening temperature, coagulant type, and inhibition of residual chymosin activity. Overall, this study demonstrated the potential of dynamic in situ imaging of cheese microstructure for developing a greater understanding of the breakdown behaviour of cheese matrices.
  • Microfiltration of raw milk for production of high-purity milk fat globule membrane material

    Hansen, Steffen F.; Hogan, Sean; Tobin, John; Rasmussen, Jan T.; Larsen, Lotte B.; Wiking, Lars; Arla Foods for Health Centre; Arla Food Ingredients; Innovation Fund Denmark; 5158-00014B (Elsevier BV, 2020-07)
    Commercial ingredients containing milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) material are currently isolated from heavily processed dairy streams. The aim of this study was to achieve a more gentle isolation of MFGM material by means of ceramic dia-microfiltration of raw whole milk to separate fat globules from casein micelles and whey proteins prior to MFGM extraction. A pilot-scale experiment with 1.4 μm pore size (membrane surface area 1.05 m2) resulted in an optimal outcome of low permeation of fat (2.5% permeation) and high permeation of proteins (97% permeation). This yielded an MFGM isolate with 7% w/w polar lipids and 30% w/w proteins, where contamination of non-MFGM proteins was only 25% of total protein content. Furthermore, mild pasteurization (72 °C, 15 s) introduced either before or after microfiltration had no impact on filtration efficiency or MFGM yield and composition. The work describes an industrially relevant production method for a less-processed MFGM material of high purity with potential for further separation and valorisation of protein-rich permeate streams.
  • Urease and Nitrification Inhibitors—As Mitigation Tools for Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Sustainable Dairy Systems: A Review

    Byrne, Maria P.; Tobin, John T.; Forrestal, Patrick J.; Danaher, Martin; Nkwonta, Chikere; Richards, Karl; Cummins, Enda; Hogan, Sean A.; O'Callaghan, Tom; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-07-27)
    Currently, nitrogen fertilizers are utilized to meet 48% of the total global food demand. The demand for nitrogen fertilizers is expected to grow as global populations continue to rise. The use of nitrogen fertilizers is associated with many negative environmental impacts and is a key source of greenhouse and harmful gas emissions. In recent years, urease and nitrification inhibitors have emerged as mitigation tools that are presently utilized in agriculture to prevent nitrogen losses and reduce greenhouse and harmful gas emissions that are associated with the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Both classes of inhibitor work by different mechanisms and have different physiochemical properties. Consequently, each class must be evaluated on its own merits. Although there are many benefits associated with the use of these inhibitors, little is known about their potential to enter the food chain, an event that may pose challenges to food safety. This phenomenon was highlighted when the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide was found as a residual contaminant in milk products in 2013. This comprehensive review aims to discuss the uses of inhibitor technologies in agriculture and their possible impacts on dairy product safety and quality, highlighting areas of concern with regards to the introduction of these inhibitor technologies into the dairy supply chain. Furthermore, this review discusses the benefits and challenges of inhibitor usage with a focus on EU regulations, as well as associated health concerns, chemical behavior, and analytical detection methods for these compounds within milk and environmental matrices.

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