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Biomacromolecules. 2007 Nov;8(11):3540-7. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Importance of intrinsic properties of dense caseinate dispersions for structure formation.

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Food and Bioprocess Engineering Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Rheological measurements of dense calcium caseinate and sodium caseinate dispersions (> or =15%) provided insight into the factors determining shear-induced structure formation in caseinates. Calcium caseinate at a sufficiently high concentration (30%) was shown to form highly anisotropic structures during shearing and concurrent enzymatic cross-linking. In contrast, sodium caseinate formed isotropic structures using similar processing conditions. The main difference between the two types of caseinates is the counterion present, and as a consequence, the size of structural elements and their interactions. The rheological behavior of calcium caseinate and sodium caseinate reflected these differences, yielding non-monotonic and shear thinning flow behavior for calcium caseinate whereas sodium caseinate behaved only slightly shear thinning. It appears that the intrinsic properties of the dense caseinate dispersions, which are reflected in their rheological behavior, affect the structure formation that was found after applying shear. Therefore, rheological measurements are useful to obtain an indication of the structure formation potential of caseinate dispersions.

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