Fat-free chocolate milk formulations containing skim milk, cocoa powder, and sugar were thermally treated and then processed using high-pressure jet (HPJ) technology from 125 to 500 MPa. The rheological properties and stability of HPJ-treated chocolate milks were compared with controls (no HPJ processing) prepared both with and without added κ-carrageenan. As expected, carrageenan-free chocolate milk exhibited immediate phase separation of the cocoa powder, whereas formulations containing κ-carrageenan were stable for 14 d. An increased stability was observed with increasing HPJ processing pressure, with a maximum observed when chocolate milk was processed at 500 MPa. The apparent viscosity at 50 s−1 of HPJ-processed samples increased from ~3 mPa·s to ~9 mPa·s with increasing pressure, and shear-thinning behavior (n < 0.9) was observed for samples processed at HPJ pressures ≥250 MPa. We suggest that HPJ-induced structural changes in casein micelles and new casein-cocoa interactions increased cocoa stability in the chocolate milk. Because casein seemed to be the major component enhancing cocoa stability in HPJ-treated samples, a second study was conducted to determine the effect of additional micellar casein (1, 2, or 4%) and HPJ processing (0–500 MPa) on the stability of fat-free chocolate milk. Formulations with 4% micellar casein processed at 375 and 500 MPa showed no phase separation over a 14-d storage period at 4°C. The addition of micellar casein together with HPJ processing at 500 MPa resulted in a higher apparent viscosity (~17 mPa·s at 50s−1) and more pronounced shear-thinning behavior (n ≤ 0.81) compared with that without added micellar casein. The use of HPJ technology to improve the dispersion stability of cocoa provides the industry with a processing alternative to produce clean-label, yet stable, chocolate milk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology