Emerging uses of new dairy ingredients in cheese, yogurt, beverages and other products
The application of membrane based filtration processes to isolate and concentrate a variety of protein fractions present in milk has led to the development of a new generation of dairy protein based ingredients. These new protein based ingredients can be broadly classified into three groups: protein isolates containing milk proteins in the same ratio as found in milk, protein isolates fractionated into casein or whey protein; and isolates of individual milk proteins. Protein isolates containing milk proteins in the same ratio as milk have been further modified with enzyme treatments as well as modifications in the mineral content. These modifications have led to improved functionality in process cheese applications, protein bars and UHT processed beverages. Protein isolates that primarily contain casein or whey protein created a new class of ingredients that take advantage of the unique properties of these two categories of protein. For example clear acidic beverages can be produced with whey protein isolates whereas heat stable high calcium meal replacement beverages can be made with casein isolates. Individual protein fractions such as beta-casein or alpha-lactalbumin can also be isolated from milk using a combination of several filtration processes. These individual protein fractions have unique functional or nutritional properties and can be used in produce specialty products such as whipped toppings and beverages target for stress reduction. The availability of filtration based processes to isolate a wide variety of protein based ingredients containing different fractions of milk proteins in conjunction with enzyme and mineral modification has provided product developers with a tool kit of new ingredients that can be utilized to modify the functionality of existing products as well as create new products.
Keywords: proteins, processing, filtration