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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Mar;96(3):1471-6. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-6158. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Short communication: radio frequency dielectric heating of nonfat dry milk affects solubility and whey protein nitrogen index.

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Food Science Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS 66506, USA.


The US infant formula market is estimated at over $3.5 billion, of which 75% are dairy-based formulas. Dried dairy powders pose a significant food safety risk, with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella spp. being pathogens of particular concern. Radio frequency dielectric heating (RFDH) can provide rapid, uniform heat treatment of dry powders; thus, it potentially may be used as a postprocess lethality treatment for nonfat dry milk (NDM) or powdered infant formula. Because RFDH is a heat treatment, the functionality of the NDM may be altered and should be evaluated. High heat- and low heat-NDM were RFDH processed at temperatures ranging from 75 to 90°C for 5 to 125 min. Products were then assessed for whey protein nitrogen index (WPNI), solubility, and color. In low heat-NDM, RFDH decreased WPNI and solubility if the process was done at ≥ 80°C; however, in high heat-NDM, RFDH had a greater effect on solubility than WPNI and some color properties were altered. Further investigation of RFDH is merited to validate its application as a pathogen control process for NDM across processing parameters that result in acceptable functional properties for infant formula and other food products containing NDM.

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