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J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Apr;48(4):1273-7.

Effect of pH on retention of aroma compounds by beta-lactoglobulin.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génie Biologique et Sciences des Aliments, Equipe de Microbiologie et Biochimie Industrielles associée à l'INRA, Université de Montpellier II, 34095 Montpellier, Cedex 05, France.


Interactions between volatile compounds and BLG in aqueous solution were studied using static and dynamic headspace techniques (exponential dilution). The intensity of interactions between methyl ketones (C7-C9), ethyl esters (C6-C9), limonene, myrcene, and beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) were estimated by determination of the relative infinite dilution activity coefficients (gamma(r)). For a constant pH value, the methyl ketones retention by BLG increased significantly with the hydrophobicity of the volatiles, whereas the retention reached a maximum for ethyl octanoate in the ester series, indicating a possible steric hindrance. For limonene and myrcene an unexpected increase in headspace concentration or "salting out" effect was noticed for acid pH. The variations of the retention according to the pH increase of the medium from pH 3 to pH 11 could be related to structural modifications of the BLG. The retention increase observed between pH 3 and pH 9 resulted from the flexibility modification of the protein, allowing better accessibility to the primary or the secondary hydrophobic sites, whereas the dramatic decrease observed at pH 11 was the consequence of the alkaline denaturation of BLG. Electrostatic interactions occurring at pH 7.5 could also explain the observed retention increase.

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