Location: Dairy and Functional Foods
Project Number: 8072-41000-096-05
Start Date: Nov 01, 2011
End Date: Dec 31, 2015
Dairy whey proteins are in very high demand for food applications, especially for improved human health and other industrial uses. As more and more health benefits of whey proteins are demonstrated in human studies, the demand for whey protein concentrates and isolates have increased worldwide. The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) estimates potential increase in U.S. dairy ingredients in amounts greater than 25 and up to 50 million metric tons per year. However, there is a significant gap in knowledge about the shelf-life of whey proteins. Some problems exist with the shelf-life stability of dairy proteins under adverse storage conditions in the tropics. Not much is known on how to extend shelf-life of the proteins in extreme transportation conditions such as oxygen, water, and temperature. Some potential problems with unstable dairy products or short-shell-lived concentrates and isolates include settling, agglomeration, and flocculation. Agglomeration and staling in particular affects appearance and odor. Since more protein concentrates are now shipped overseas, it’s imperative to understand and quantify the effect of harsh environments such as high temperature, high humidity, and long storage on the physical and organoleptic qualities of whey protein concentrates. This proposed shelf-life study will investigate the effects of temperatures (25°C , 30°C , and 35°C ), relative humidity (70%, 80%, and 90%), and length of storage (0, 12, 18, and 24 months) on the physical properties (Caking, solubility, color), microbial quality (Coliforms, yeast & molds, total plate count), and chemical analyses (Water activity, pH, titratable acidity, and Fatty acid profiles). The outcome of this study will be definitive knowledge of storage time and condition/quality status of whey protein concentrates under different conditions. This information will increase the confidence in the quality of U.S. whey proteins and increase the demand for whey protein concentrates. Also, demand will increase when new recommendations for adding whey protein concentrates in enhanced emergency and supplementary foreign food aids are implemented.