• Control of Cheese Microflora using Bacteriocins.

      Ross, R Paul; Hill, Colin; O'Keeffe, T.; McAuliffe, Olivia; Ryan, Maire; O'Connor, Paula M.; Freyne, T. (Teagasc, 2001-08-01)
      Bacteriocins are proteins, produced by some bacteria which are capable of inhibiting other bacteria. The overall aim of this project was the development and exploitation of bacteriocins such as Lacticin 3147 (produced by a food-grade microorganism), as biological tools to control the microflora of foods. Lacticin 3147-producing strains were evaluated for their ability to improve the microbial quality of a variety of dairy products and in particular, Cheddar cheese. The manipulation of cheese flora using bacteriocins should offer manufacturers greater control in the consistency and quality of the final product, in addition to improving its safety. In concert with these studies, Lacticin 3147 was studied in detail at the molecular level resulting in its biochemical and genetic analysis. These studies have demonstrated the complexity and uniqueness of this potent antimicrobial.
    • Development of Technologies for Separation and Functional Improvement of Individual Milk Protein Fractions

      STANTON, CATHERINE; Fitzgerald, Richard J.; Donnelly, W.J.; O'Connor, Paula M. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      Milk proteins can be hydrolysed (i.e. fragmented) using proteolytic enzymes to give enhanced functional and nutritional properties. There is an increasing demand for hydrolysed protein ingredients with specific properties for nutrition of individuals with specialised dietary requirements including infants, the critically ill, the immuno-compromised and athletes. Such hydrolysed proteins can be specifically designed to provide distinctive tailor-made solutions to meet customer needs in these areas. This project explored the technologies for the production of two types of hydrolysates i.e. acid-soluble and glutamine-rich. Acid-soluble protein hydrolysates have potential in the fortification of acidic beverages, including soft drinks. Glutamine-rich hydrolysates are suggested as an optimal glutamine source for administration during periods of stress, such as recovery from strenuous exercise, or from surgery. Casein was selected as the protein for development of acid-soluble product and cereal protein for the glutamine-rich product. The main conclusions were as follows: A number of protein hydrolysate products with value added properties and the processes required for their manufacture have been developed and are available for uptake by the food industry. Laboratory investigations identified conditions for the generation of two casein hydrolysates with desirable functional properties. Scale-up conditions for the manufacture of these hydrolysates in the pilot plant were successfully developed. Both hydrolystates were 100% soluble at pH 4.6, exhibited clarity in solution at low pH in clear soft drinks and in caramelised beverages and were stable in solution over a wide temperature range (from 4 to 30ºC) for extended periods. Solutions containing these hydrolysates exhibited no foaming properties and had acceptable sensory properties, being considered as weakly bitter compared to unsupplemented solutions. These performance characteristics make the acid-soluble hydrolysates useful supplements for caramelised beverages, such as colas, and clear soft drinks. Six glutamine-enriched peptide products were produced at laboratory scale using two commercially available enzyme preparations. These products had desirable characteristics such as increased levels of peptide bound glutamine, low free amino acid and free pyroglutamate levels. Pilot plant processes were developed for manufacture of the two glutamine-rich hydrolysates with most suitable compositional properties and these were fully characterised chemically. The manufacturing process was modified to enable industrial scale batches (5,000 litres) to be produced.
    • High Pressure Processing of Dairy Foods

      Donnelly, W.J.; Beresford, Tom; Lane, C.N.; Walsh-O'Grady, D.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Fitzgerald, Richard J.; Murphy, P.M.; O'Reilly, Conor; Morgan, S.M.; Ross, R Paul; et al. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      The term High Pressure Processing (HPP) is used to describe the technology whereby products are exposed to very high pressures in the region of 50 - 800 MPa (500 - 8000 Atmospheres). The potential application of HPP in the food industry has gained popularity in recent years, due to developments in the construction of HPP equipment which makes the technology more affordable. Applying HPP to food products results in modifications to interactions between individual components, rates of enzymatic reactions and inactivation of micro-organisms. The first commercial HPP products appeared on the market in 1991 in Japan, where HPP is now being used commercially for products such as jams, sauces, fruit juices, rice cakes and desserts. The pioneering research into the application of HPP to milk dates back to the end of the 19th century. Application of HPP to milk has been shown to modify its gel forming characteristics as well as reducing its microbial load. HPP offers the potential to induce similar effects to those generated by heat on milk protein. Recent reports have also indicated that HPP could accelerate the ripening of cheese. Much of the Irish cheese industry is based on the production of Cheddar cheese, the ripening time for which can vary from 4 - 12 months or more, depending on grade. A substantial portion of the cost associated with Cheddar manufacture is therefore attributed to storage under controlled conditions during ripening. Thus, any technology which may accelerate the ripening of Cheddar cheese while maintaining a balanced flavour and texture is of major economic significance. While food safety is a dominant concern, consumers are increasingly demanding foods that maintain their natural appearance and flavour, while free of chemical preservatives. HPP offers the food industry the possibility of achieving these twin goals as this technology can lead to reduced microbial loads without detrimentally effecting the nutritional or sensory qualities of the product. The development of food ingredients with novel functional properties offers the dairy industry an opportunity to revitalise existing markets and develop new ones. HPP can lead to modifications in the structure of milk components, in particular protein, which may provide interesting possibilities for the development of high value nutritional and functional ingredients. Hence these projects set out to investigate the potential of HPP in the dairy industry and to identify products and processes to which it could be applied.