Innovative clean label processes employed in the manufacture of acid gels are targeted to modify the structure of proteins that contribute to rheological properties. In the present study, CO2-treated milk protein concentrate powder with 80% protein in dry matter (TMPC80) was mixed with nonfat dry milk (NDM) in different ratios for the manufacture of acid gels. Dispersions of NDM and TMPC80 that provided 100, 90, 70, and 40% of protein from NDM were reconstituted to 4.0% (wt/wt) protein and 12.0% (wt/wt) total solids. Dispersions were adjusted to pH 6.5, followed by heat treatment at 90°C for 10 min. Glucono-δ-lactone was added and samples were incubated at 30°C, reaching pH 4.5 ± 0.05 after 4 h of incubation. Glucono-δ-lactone levels were adjusted to compensate for the lower buffering capacity of samples with higher proportions of TMPC80, which is attributable to the depletion of buffering minerals from both the serum and micellar phase during preparation of TMPC80. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE analysis indicated a higher amount of caseins in the supernatant of unheated suspensions with increasing proportions of CO2-treated TMPC80, attributable to the partial disruption of casein micelles in TMPC80. Heat treatment reduced the level of whey proteins in the supernatant due to the heat-induced association of whey proteins with casein micelles, the extent of which was larger in samples containing more micellar casein (i.e., samples with a lower proportion of TMPC80). Particle size analysis showed only small differences between nonheated and heated dispersions. Gelation pH increased from ˜5.1 to ˜5.3, and the storage modulus of the gels at pH 4.5 increased from ˜300 to ˜420 Pa when the proportion of protein contributed by TMPC80 increased from 0 to 60%. Water-holding capacity also increased and gel porosity decreased with increasing proportion of protein contributed by TMPC80. The observed gel properties were in line with microstructural observations by confocal microscopy, wherein sample gels containing increasing levels of TMPC80 exhibited smaller, well-connected aggregates with uniform, homogeneous pore sizes. We concluded that TMPC80 can be used to partially replace NDM as a protein source to improve rheological and water-holding properties in acid gels. The resultant gels also exhibited decreased buffering, which can improve the productive capacity of yogurt manufacturing plants. Overall, the process can be leveraged to reduce the amount of hydrocolloids added to improve yogurt consistency and water-holding capacity, thus providing a path to meet consumer expectations of clean label products.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center (Brookings, SD) and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (St.Paul, MN).
- acid gel
- carbon dioxide
- milk protein concentrate