is the co-product of butter manufacture obtained by churning the cream, a process that breaks the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) which is released in the serum phase as fragments with the milk non-fat solids. Although butter consumption is constantly rising in Quebec, buttermilk remains little valued, despite its potential as a bio-ingredient with high added value. On the other hand, MFGM is rich in PL which interferes with the techno-functional properties of buttermilk, particularly in terms of its cheese-making abilities. The separation of MFGM would enhance the value of buttermilk proteins in various dairy matrices and improve its eco-efficiency.
Various strategies have been developed for separating MFGM from buttermilk, including baromembrane filtration, but their selectivity for effectively separating MFGM fragments from casein micelles in buttermilk is low. Ultra-high pressure homogenization (UHPH), a continuous process, lead to significant changes in milk proteins. Depending on the pressure, dissociation of casein micelles, serum protein aggregation and casein complexes can be observed. Thus, UHPH could be used to dissociate MFGM fragments in buttermilk and increase their membrane permeation relative to casein complexes due to their increased size differences. The aim of this project is to develop eco-efficient separation strategies allowing an optimal use of buttermilk for the production of bio-ingredients rich in MFGM with high added value and the valorization of the buttermilk solids in dairy matrices.
Thus, in relation to the proposed problematic, the objectives of this project are: 1) to characterize the impact of the UHPH treatment parameters on the size of the buttermilk components and to determine the effect of concentrating buttermilk by reverse osmosis (RO) on these UHPH-induced size modifications; 2) to optimize the microfiltration (MF) operating parameters to maximize the selectivity and filtration efficiency for UHPH-treated buttermilk MFGM fractionation; 3) to determine the impact of the incorporation of delipidated buttermilk proteins by the UHPH/MF process into dairy matrices. Ultimately, the project will increase the understanding of the denaturation and protein interaction phenomena generated by UHPH and will innovate in the development of new approaches for the separation of MFGM from buttermilk.
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