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J Dairy Res. 1999 Feb;66(1):73-80.

Contribution of the lactoperoxidase system to the keeping quality of pasteurized milk.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Reading, UK.


The lactoperoxidase system is a naturally occurring antimicrobial system found in milk, with lactoperoxidase, thiocyanate and hydrogen peroxide as its components. The keeping quality of milk pasteurized at 72 degrees C for 15 s was found to be better than that of milk heated at 80 degrees C for 15 s. This agrees with previous findings and is usually attributed to heat shocking of spores. However, complete deactivation of lactoperoxidase occurred at 80 degrees C-15 s, whereas at 72 degrees C-15 s residual lactoperoxidase activity was approximately 70%, which may provide an alternative explanation. Higher levels of hypothiocyanite (the major antimicrobial agent produced by the lactoperoxidase system) were also detected in milk processed at 72 than at 80 degrees C, which supports the theory that the lactoperoxidase system has a role in the keeping quality of pasteurized milk. Of all the methods evaluated, titratable acidity and alcohol stability gave the most consistent estimates of keeping quality, while dissolved oxygen was a good indication of the onset of spoilage. Lactoperoxidase activity decreased with temperature more rapidly between 70 and 80 degrees C than is usual for an enzyme over a 10 deg C range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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