The processing of milk using high-pressure technologies has been shown to dissociate casein micelles, denature whey proteins, and change the appearance and rheological properties of milk. A novel high-pressure processing technology called high-pressure-jet (HPJ) processing is currently being investigated for use in the food industry. Few studies have evaluated the effects of HPJ technology on dairy foods. The present study investigated the physicochemical and foaming properties of homogenized pasteurized whole milk processed at pressures from 0 to 500 MPa using HPJ processing. The apparent particle size exhibited a monomodal distribution in whole milk samples processed up to 125 MPa and a bimodal distribution for samples processed at 250, 375, and 500 MPa. The viscosity increased from approximately 2 to 5 mPa·s when whole milk was processed using HPJ at 375 MPa, and foam expansion increased from approximately 80 to 140% after processing at >125 MPa. Foam stability was limited to pressures in the 375 to 500 MPa range. We hypothesized that the increase in apparent particle size was due to the dissociation of casein micelles into surface-active casein protein monomers, and the formation of casein–casein and casein–fat particles. Ultracentrifugation of samples into 3 milk fractions (supernatant, serum, and precipitate), and subsequent fat and protein analysis on the 3 fractions, showed that a strong interaction between casein proteins and fat triglycerides occurred, evidenced by the increase in fat content associated with the precipitate fraction with increasing pressure. This suggests that stable casein–fat aggregates are formed when whole milk is processed using HPJ at pressure >125 MPa.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology