Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #428714

Research Project: Improving the Sustainability and Quality of Food and Dairy Products from Manufacturing to Consumption via Process Modeling and Edible Packaging

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

2019 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1: Integrate new processes into the Fluid Milk Process Model (FMPM) to determine the effects of reductions in energy use, water use or waste on commercial dairy plant economics and greenhouse gas emissions. 1a: Develop benchmark simulations for configurations of stirred, set and strained curd yogurt processing plants in the U.S. that quantify energy use, economics, and greenhouse gas emissions, validated using data from industry. 1b: Use process simulation for evaluation of possible alternatives of whey utilization for the strained curd method of yogurt manufacture. 2: Integrate properties of edible films and coatings from dairy and food processing wastes with formulation strategies to better target commercial food and nonfood applications. 2a: Investigate thermal and mechanical properties of dairy protein-based edible films and coatings in real-life storage and utilization conditions. 2b: Apply new property findings to the investigation of useful and/or sustainable applications utilizing edible milk protein films. 3: Investigate the effects of different film-making technologies to manipulate the physical and functional properties of films and coatings made from agricultural materials. 3a: Investigate the effect of protein conformation on the ability to electrospin caseinates in aqueous solution and in the presence of a polysaccharide. 3b: Investigate the use of fluid milk, nonfat dry milk and milk protein concentrates as a source for production of electrospun fibers. 3c: Investigate the effects of edible and non-edible additives to the electrospun polysaccharide-caseinate fibers in aqueous solution. 4. Investigate techniques for separating components of dairy waste to determine their potential as ingredients. [C1,PS1A] 5. Investigate technologies for large-scale production of the ingredients identified in Objective 4, with products targeted to food applications. [C1, PS1A].

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Research will be conducted to extend the use of the Fluid Milk Process Model (FMPM) to simulate different types of U.S. dairy production plants to identify the main sources of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, propose ways to reduce water usage, and utilize waste streams more efficiently, either by water recovery or recovery of valuable constituents. Simulation results will be validated with data from industry, university and other partners. New edible packaging films and coatings from dairy proteins that can improve food quality and functionality, protect foods from spoilage and extend shelf - life, increase nutrition, reduce landfill waste, and utilize protein-rich surpluses and by-products of the dairy industry to boost their value such as nonfat-dry milk, or its derivatives casein and whey, will be designed with an emphasis on formulation and film-processing technique, for performance under commonly encountered storage and ambient conditions. Finally, those same protein-rich surpluses and by-products will be blended with other edible polymers then structurally modified using the novel electrospinning technology, to create micro- and nanofibers that can form new highly-value-added food and non-food products. This research is expected to help the US dairy and other food industries improve their sustainability, productivity, and profitability while providing new and better products to US consumers.

3. Progress Report:
Objective 2: The performance of the edible films from the original formulation containing calcium caseinate and glycerol to those utilizing nonfat dry milk (NFDM) or Greek acid whey were prepared at different ratios and pH on materials such as low-density polyethylene (LDPE), crackers with smooth surfaces, chocolate coated biscuits, and biscuits with smooth or rough surfaces. The films adhered to the substrates if applied directly on the materials; partially dried films did not, indicating that differences in surface energies of the film and substrate did not allow for adhesion. Best adhesions were obtained when the film solutions were used as coatings on the substrates. However, as the film dried, tensile forces of the films increased causing bending of the substrates. This problem was solved by spraying the film on both sides of the substrate. An invention disclosure was filed for some of the materials used in this work. An MTA was also initiated for two of the films.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Stoklosa, R.J., Latona, R.J., Yadav, M.P., Bonnaillie, L. 2019. Evaluation of arabinoxylan isolated from sorghum bran, biomass, and bagasse for film formation. Carbohydrate Polymers. 213:382-392.
Van Hekken, D.L., Renye Jr, J.A., Bucci, A.J., Tomasula, P.M. 2019. Characterization of the physical, microbiological, and chemical properties of sonicated raw bovine milk. Journal of Dairy Science. 102:6928-6942.