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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEW AND IMPROVED PROCESSES FOR TEXTURIZING MILK COMPONENTS
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
Milk products, particularly the milk proteins, casein and whey, and non fat dry milk (NFDM), can be blended with other ingredients to create new nutritious foods that serve as an outlet for underutilized milk components. Only 50% of cheese whey solids are utilized, the rest is wasted or used as animal feed. Surpluses of NFDM often persist from month to month. Inclusion of milk proteins to snack or other products to fortify them impart negative textural and functional qualities to many of the finished products because the milk proteins are soluble in the formulation and do not combine well with the other ingredients. Our approach is to texturize the milk proteins alone, or in combination with polysaccharides, starches and/or other proteins, by homogenization, twin screw extrusion, and other processing techniques, to develop new processes and to produce model foods and new product concepts that demonstrate the use of milk components in nutritional foods. Such model foods include protein enriched puffed snacks and imitation meat analogues such as hamburger helpers.

This project supports National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products and Departmental Goal 1 Enhance Economic Opportunities for Agricultural Producers, Objective: Provide the Science-Based Knowledge and Technologies To Generate New or Improved High Quality, Value-Added Products and Processes To Expand Domestic and Foreign Markets for Agricultural Commodities. This Project addresses ARS Strategic Plan Performance Measure 1.1.2., Provide higher quality, healthy foods that satisfy consumer needs in the United States and abroad.

This research addresses components 1 (Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement) and 2 (New Processes, New Uses, and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products) of ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products; the primary focus is in problem areas 1c (Factors and Processes Affecting Quality), 2a (New product technology), and 2c (New and improved processes and feedstocks), and will develop new processes and uses for whey proteins and ultimately nonfat dried milk (NFDM) or fluid milk components.

The purpose of this research is to modify milk proteins, particularly whey proteins, using extrusion processes in a way that preserves nutritionally important minor components and improves their textural, rheological and viscoelastic properties. The specific objectives are: (1) Develop thermal and non-thermal extrusion-based processes that alter the structures of whey proteins (texturize), identify the process conditions, and develop models that relate the conditions to the quality attributes of texturized proteins. (2) Create co-products linking the texturized whey proteins with carbohydrate and protein polymers such as soy proteins to make health-enhancing products. Characterize the rheological and viscoelastic properties of the texturized whey protein co-products as specialized ingredients with improved quality and functionality.

New processes based on extrusion will help reduce surplus dairy proteins that are currently being handled as waste or animal feed, and will increase our understanding of modifying protein function through extrusion texturization. New extruded snacks, meat analogs, and multi-functioning texturized dairy co-products will be created.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
Year 1 (FY2005): Initiate work to determine thermal and non thermal extrusion parameters to identify optimal regions of modifying whey proteins and co-products.

Initiate work on developing model process parameters by characterizing product variables such as elasticity and gel strength.

Year 2 (FY2006): Continue work to determine thermal and non thermal extrusion parameters for optimal regions of modifying whey proteins and co-products (complete 50%).

Continue work on developing model process parameters by characterizing product variables (elasticity, gel strength), complete 50%.

Initiate work on characterizing changes in molecular structure.

Determine changes in physical and chemical composition and protein profiles.

Year 3 (FY2007): Complete work to determine thermal and non thermal extrusion parameters for optimal regions of modifying whey proteins and co-products.

Complete work on characterizing product variables such as elasticity and gel strength. Determine nutritive quality and protein digestibility. Develop response models linking process variables to product characteristics.

Year 4 (FY2008): Initiate work to develop extruded co-products with whey proteins, different grains, and other proteins to create prototype food systems.

Initiate work to develop viscoelastic models of co-products made with whey proteins, starches, and other protein combinations for new product application.

Year 5 (FY2009): Complete work to develop extruded co-products with whey proteins, different grains, and other proteins to create prototype food systems.

Complete work to develop viscoelastic models of co-products made with texturized whey proteins, starches, and other protein combinations for new product application.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
MEAT-LIKE WHEY PROTEIN PRODUCTS: The increasing demand for meat-free products that have the texture of meat continues to drive processing innovations for using protein sources, other than plant proteins such as soy, to create these products. Meat alternatives are mostly developed from globular soy proteins that are formed into fibrous strings using extruders, which are high shear, mixing and cooking devices. Scientists and engineers with the Dairy Processing and Products Research Unit, ARS, ERRC, Wyndmoor, PA used cheese whey protein isolates and concentrates, which are comprised of the globular whey milk proteins and other components, and formed them into fibrous meat-like strings using a newly developed process. The process,which uses a modified extruder, has a cooling heat exchanger that reduces temperature below that used in other extrusion operations, allowing for the creation of the textured meat-like fibers. The fibrous whey protein products, in combination with other ingredients, have potential for use as meat replacers or meat extenders. This research addresses Action Plan Component 2. New Processes, New Uses and Value – Added Foods, and Biobased Products. Problem Areas 2a. New Product Technology and 2c. New and Improved Processes and Feedstocks.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
None


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None


4d.Progress report.
This report serves to document research conducted under an SCA between ARS and Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Additional details of this research can be found in the report of project 1935-41000-065-00D, New and Improved Processes for Texturizing Milk Components. Experiments were conducted using ARS developed texturized whey protein ingredients in pectin jellies. The textured whey proteins were combined with cranberry phytonutrients and infused into the jellies. The protein and phytonutrients improved translucence, color and texture. The infused jellies had similar elastic strain, recovery and firmness as the non infused jellies. Adding texturized whey protein to jellies provided high quality proteins. It was determined that texturized whey made at higher temperatures (> 50 C) performed better. The resulting jellies are high-solids confectionery products that may replace sugars as confectionery ingredients, forming low caloric reduced-sugar products.

This report serves to document research conducted under a grant from USDA Foreign Agriculture Service to develop health-enhancing snack products using extrusion technology. Additional details of this research can be found in the report of project 1935-41000-065-00D, New and Improved Processes for Texturizing Milk Components. We achieved the initial objective of developing partially cooked “half products” using low glycemic starches including cassava and whey proteins. Half products were developed using cassava, quinoa, cashew pulp, corn, and whey proteins.

These products satisfy the main objective of developing Protein-Enriched Low Glycemic Snack Products that Mitigate Childhood Obesity in US and Hidden Hunger in Brazil. By developing protein-enriched extruded half products using whey proteins to replace 30% of the starch, we can address obesity. We will determine the protocol to fortify the half products with minerals and vitamins which will address the hidden hunger aspect of this project. The half products are readily expanded by frying, baking in conventional oven, or the microwave. Conventional and microwave oven baked products are not as expanded as oil baked products, but are lower in calories. Ultimately, these snacks will be fortified with micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin A to combat hidden hunger; the high protein will help combat obesity and other associated health problems.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
Some of the work in this new project builds on the accomplishments of earlier research project, 1935-41000-052, that was terminated in FY 2004. The accomplishments of 1935-41000-052 that are pertinent to the new project are stated in the text that follows.

The potential use of cheese whey proteins in expanded snack products is limited by the negative effect of whey proteins on expansion. If whey proteins are not modified by processing prior to addition they cause the products to shrink and become tough instead of crunchy. We developed extruded products containing up to 35% whey proteins by allowing the whey proteins to expand and reducing the amount of water added during extrusion, and improved the crunchiness of products containing whey proteins.

Work was completed on a new process that combines whey protein concentrate and calcium caseinate into syrup-like composites for use in many food applications. One such application is the use of the dairy-based composites to coat dietary fibers, to create a barrier around the fiber, and to reduce their water holding capacity. An innovation disclosure was filled and patent was granted #6,610,347 B1.

Several texturized dairy proteins were created by extrusion cooling conditions; their new physical properties were determined using texture profile analyses. Because the protein structure remained intact after extrusion, several puffy and foamy structures were created, and these may be used in baked product applications.

The effect of blending whey protein isolates and starch with minimal shear and moderate temperature was determined using a torque Rheometer. This new technique predicts blend and mix properties of whey proteins with starch resulting in better networks for expandable products.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Presentations were made to stakeholders, collaborator and CRADA partners, and to an International Protein Panel on the extrusion of milk proteins. Others were made at Scientific Meetings. Information was transferred to food industries.

ARS processing technology for texturized whey proteins has been licensed. The formulation, processing requirements, and resulting about six commercial products undergoing marketing tests.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Cheese Market News, April 2005. New Center develops products from cheese whey, other agricultural products.

Food Production Daily.Com, March 2005. ARS targets waste reduction and biodegradability in food production.


Review Publications
Onwulata, C.I., Isobe, S., Tomasula, P.M., Cooke, P.H. Properties of whey isolates extruded under acidic and alkaline conditions. J. Dairy Science. 89: 71-81. 2005.

Onwulata, C.I., Tomasula, P.M. 2006. Processes for creating texturized whey protein products. Proceedings. 4th Internatl Whey Conference.

Onwulata, C.I., Liu, L.S., Finkenstadt, V.L., Willett, J.L. 2005. Extruded and injection molded biopolymers: properties of polylactic acid pla/sugar-beet pulp blends, and whey protein/corn gluten meal (cgm). UJNR Food & Agricultural Panel Proceedings. November 21-29,2005. Fuji,Japan. p.99-105.

Onwulata, C.I., Muir, Z.E., Tunick, M.H., Tomasula, P.M. 2005. Properties of dairy proteins and alginic acid gels. ACS National Meeting AGFD 0075.

Tunick, M.H., Onwulata, C.I. 2006. Texturization of whey proteins for use in fortified foods. ACS Spring Meeting Paper AGFD0013

Onwulata, C.I., Tomasula, P.M., Mulvaney, S.J., Bahar, S. 2005. Texturized whey protein (twp) applications. International Whey Conf. (IWC 2005). Book Chapter. "The Wonders of Whey:Catch the Power" p221-234.

Onwulata, C.I., Tomasula, P.M. 2005. Improving functionality of whey protein concentrates from different sources. Journal of Dairy Science. Vol. 1 (1) 1-8, 2006.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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