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Title: Whey protein fractionation using supercritical carbon dioxide

item Tomasula, Peggy
item Bonnaillie, Laetitia
item Van Hekken, Diane
item Qi, Phoebe
item Dangaran, Kirsten

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2007
Publication Date: 5/13/2007
Citation: Tomasula, P.M., Bonnaillie, L., Van Hekken, D.L., Qi, P.X., Dangaran, K.L. 2007. Whey protein fractionation using supercritical carbon dioxide [abstract]. 98th AOCS Annual Meet & Expo. p. 143.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Sweet whey, the watery product of the cheesemaking process, is usually concentrated using ultrafiltration or ion-exchange to produce whey protein concentrates (WPC) and whey protein isolates (WPI), respectively. WPC are comprised mainly of beta-lactoglobulin (LG), alpha-lactalbumin (LA), proteose - peptones, bovine serum albumen, and immunoglobulins, while beta-LG and alpha-La predominate in WPI. WPC and WPI are highly functional products and various fractionation methods have been developed to exploit the physical, chemical and nutritional properties of their individual whey proteins. These methods rely on salts, organic solvents and acids which can contaminate the proteins and the waste streams. The use of supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) is an environmentally friendly method to isolate the proteins that replaces the need for salts, acids or organic solvents. In our laboratory, we have demonstrated the use of CO2 to prepare enriched fractions of alpha-LA and beta-LG from a 7% WPC solution. After processing, recovery of the alpha-LA fraction was approximately 55% and that of beta-LG was 78%. The resulting fractions had a pH of 6.0 and contained no added salts. While this is a good result, process improvements and integration of new knowledge are needed to improve the recovery of the fractions. This will be discussed as well as the challenges that remain for further utilization of this technology.