New knowledge brings out the functionality in whey proteins
Arla Foods Ingredients is breaking new ground in shaping functional milk proteins that bring specific value-adding benefits to food products and processes.
Within the R&D department, advances in knowledge of the way proteins unfold – and how to control it – is pioneering the development of new ingredient solutions.
R&D manager Hans Bertelsen points to increasingly sophisticated opportunities to cut manufacturer costs and boost product quality. All from one raw material: natural milk whey.
“There’s a big difference between the whey protein concentrate we often start with and the functional milk proteins we develop. Achieving the desired functionality is all down to the proper unfolding of the whey proteins when they are added to a food application,” he says.
Among the recent developments are Arla Foods Ingredients’ solutions for replacing expensive eggs or skimmed milk powder in bakery and dairy products. Manufacturers can also use functional milk proteins to lock brine into juicy meat products; enhance the creaminess of low-fat ice cream; or produce cream cheese on a standard set yogurt processing line.
One protein, many possibilities
“Using the same protein raw material, it is possible to do many different things, just by choosing the right parameters,” Bertelsen explains.
He adds that pH, minerals, ion strength and the concentration of calcium and protein are all key to the equation. Microparticulated proteins, for example, are particularly good for ice cream, their size, surface area and easy solubility contributing to good whipping properties and the ability to retain incorporated air throughout shelf life.
R&D work is not limited to Arla Foods Ingredients’ well-equipped laboratories and pilot plants. Cooperative research with Denmark’s leading universities in Copenhagen and Aarhus maximises the value of the latest scientific findings.
“We develop the protein building blocks that can be put together in blends to provide a specific combination of functionalities in customer products,”says Bertelsen. ”Working with external scientists, we gain new knowledge that pioneers new functional milk proteins.”