Forms Of Dairy Ingredients

Dairy ingredients are provided in many different forms, which can be grouped according to the effect of the process on the products.

1. Compositionally complete or only partially rearranged ingredients (e.g., removal of water and/or fat).

Liquid milk and cream are available, but it is normally more convenient for the food processors to use products from which the water has been removed (as in the manufacture of whole milk powder and butter). The centrifugal removal of cream results in the manufacture of nonfat milk powder. These processes have been industrialized on a very large scale in order to minimize costs. Although they are inherently simple, sophisticated knowledge and process control are required to achieve consistent product performance as may be specified.

2. Products in which a desired component of milk is prepared (e.g., milkfat, protein).

Complete removal of water and nonfat solids from cream will result in anhydrous milkfat that is usable in the same manner as other oils but that is prepared without requiring a complex series of extractive procedures in its manufacture. The major protein of milk, casein, is obtained by simple isoelectric or enzymic precipitation followed by subsequent washing with water and drying.

3. Products obtained by the reassembly, or rearrangement, of the individual components.

At its simplest level the compositional adjustment of milk ingredients is readily achieved. For example, the control of fat levels in cheese products and milk powders is widely practiced; increased levels of whey solids in infant-food products are provided because they are nutritionally desirable; the recombination of powdered ingredients at locations that are far distant from the point of milk production has provided international availability of milk and its products.

4. Products in which the ingredients have been modified for specific purposes.

Judicious application of heat modifies the properties of milk components and can result in a range of milk powders tailored to satisfy specific industrial requirements (1). Addition of food-grade alkali to casein results in its solubilization (2). Physical modification by processes such as ho-mogenization, to provide homogeneity, and agglomeration of powder particles to provide improved dispersibility, is of considerable value. More extensive modifications of dairy materials have been intensively researched. New processes are becoming available, and products that result from these newer technologies hold considerable promise in meeting the increasingly sophisticated requirements of food formulators. Transformations of milk components are being achieved. Lactose can be converted to lactulose (3), protein is being transformed into its hydrolysates (4), and milkfat can be deodorized and decolorized.

Extensively modified materials have been prepared, but the market has not yet taken up all the possibilities; the great bulk of commercial usage in the food industry lies with products that are well known and are based on simple processes.

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