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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 31;50(16):4674-81.

Heat-induced aggregation of whey proteins: comparison of cheese WPC with acid WPC and relevance of mineral composition.

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Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


Heat-induced aggregation of whey proteins in solutions made from two commercial whey protein concentrates (WPCs), one derived from mineral acid whey (acid WPC) and the other from cheese whey (cheese WPC), was studied using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Heat treatment (75 degrees C) of acid WPC solutions (12.0%, w/w, pH 6.9) resulted in formation of relatively small "soluble" aggregates that were predominantly disulfide-linked. By contrast, heat treatment of the cheese WPC solutions (under the same conditions) caused formation of relatively large aggregates, containing high proportions of aggregates linked by noncovalent associations. The rate of aggregation of both beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin at 75 degrees C, measured as the loss of native proteins by PAGE, was higher in the cheese WPC solution than in the acid WPC solution. Cross dialysis of the two WPC solutions resulted in alteration of the mineral composition of each WPC solution and reversing their heat-induced aggregation behavior. The results demonstrated that the mineral composition is very important in controlling the aggregation behavior of WPC products.

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