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The physico-chemical properties of the different protein sources from milk

8 July 2016

Progress made in extremely fine separation techniques, along with all the achievements of the biochemistry and physical chemistry of milk, mean that today, FIT is able to offer you different protein sources: milk proteins, caseins, caseinates, and whey proteins.

Milk protein: On average, the concentration of protein in cow’s milk is 3.2%, with about 2.6% caseins and 0.6% whey proteins. Milk proteins, which have  excellent nutritional qualities show the properties of solubility viscosity, hydration, gelation, emulsification, and the ability to retain aromas that vary according to their nature.

Caseins, a major percentage of milk protein (about 80%) are proteins with low molecular weight, presenting a loose structure and stable under heating. They are actually resistant to heat beyond 100°C. Caseins have the distinction of being phosphorylated, which gives them a strong connection wtih certain minerals, especially calcium, at pH values above 5.5. Caseins can be separated from other milk proteins by precipitation, given that the pH (initially around 6.8) is lowered to its isoelectric point by acidification (that is to say, at a pH level of 4.6). They can also be precipitated by the  adding rennet  during cheese production.

Caseinates  , which are obtained from acidic caseins incorporated  into alkali metal salts  (calcium, sodium, potassium salts, etc.) to make them soluble, are used for their whitening effect, and as an emulsifier, stabilizer, moisturizer and viscosity regulator. They are commonly used for protein enrichment in yoghurts. They improve coagulation properties in cheeses, and compensate for variations in the protein content of milk. They are also used in many other products ,such as creams and specialty cheeses.

Whey proteins remain soluble after adding rennet when the pH of milk is lowered to 4.6. They are found in whey, which gives them their names: soluble proteins, serum proteins or whey proteins. They include β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, albumin serum and immunoglobulins. The β-lactoglobulin is quantitatively the most important serum protein.

To discover the various proteins offered by FIT, click here.