• 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.