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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312840

Title: Microstructure of milk

item Tunick, Michael

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The fat and protein in milk may be examined by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and confocal laser scanning microscopy, and any bacteria present may be viewed by light microscopy. The fat exists as globules, the bulk of the protein is in the form of casein micelles, and the diameter and appearance of both vary with species and processing, as does the structure of the membrane surrounding the fat globules. The question of how casein micelles are assembled (as aggregations of submicelles, nanoclusters, or dual-bonded regions) has yet to be answered. Homogenization, pasteurization, pulsed electric field, and concentration treatments change the microstructure of the fat, protein, and bacteria present, and digestion results in the formation of protein and fat aggregates. The study of milk microstructure provides insights into properties of “nature’s perfect food.”