Advanced milk component analyses meet a growing demand
Sophisticated analysis equipment is now in place at Arla Foods Ingredients to measure the exact content of a specific milk component in nutritional food products – right down to a few parts per million.
Tandem mass spectrometry – otherwise known as MS-MS – is an increasingly important tool for detailed product documentation that meets the legislative requirements of international food authorities.
50 times more sensitive
“Demand is growing for analysis technology that can document the content of components such as our nutritional whey fractions in customer formulations. This equipment is 50 times more sensitive than the equipment we previously had available and is also a valuable support in our internal quality control,” remarks John Sørensen, head of analytical support.
With its top-tuned ability to measure molecular mass, mass spectrometry is used to identify and measure individual components in food. The MS-MS enables a double analysis, where the second of two spectrometers measures components selected and filtered through from the first.
At Arla Foods Ingredients, the components quantified may include whey proteins such as osteopontin, carbohydrates such as sialic lactose, peptides and other milk components that are under development. Because few components have the same mass, the MS-MS analysis can be fine-tuned to pinpoint the component in question.
“MS-MS is useful for very complex ingredients,” Sørensen explains. “A hydrolysate, for example, may contain 100 peptides, where just two of them are active in a customer product, perhaps in relation to lowering cholesterol. So it is necessary to determine just how much of these two peptides is present.”
Sven Høgh Petersen, paediatric nutrition team leader, is pleased to offer customers this new analysis opportunity.
“It means we can include the results of these analyses on our data sheets. Altogether MS-MS strengthens our credibility and may influence customer decisions when they choose us as their supplier.”