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Investigate viability of turning underutilized wheys into value-added ingredients.

At various academic research centers, ongoing research on whey protein quality involves identifying opportunities to improve the flavor, aroma and performance of these ingredients so that they could be used in higher-protein foods and beverages.

Although dairy ingredients have a natural ability to perform the functions of foaming, gelling, emulsification and other important characteristics in food, there is always the potential for extending and optimizing their capabilities.

Dried whey ingredients are versatile ingredients, but potential sources of these compounds are underutilized by the market. Previous work has established that there are flavor and flavor stability differences in Cheddar and Mozzarella wheys. But little research has been done to compare cultured whey sources to acid or rennet wheys.

The objective of scientists at North Carolina State University was to characterize and compare the flavor and flavor stability among cheese, rennet and acid wheys. Their work provides baseline information that can help determine if it's viable to process underutilized wheys into value-added ingredients.

Full-fat and fat-free Cheddar, rennet and acid casein, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt fluid wheys were manufactured in triplicate. The wheys were fat-separated and pasteurized. Then the researchers performed compositional analyses and stored the wheys at 4 C for 48 hours. The researchers used solid-phase microextraction with gas chromatography mass spectrometry to extract and identify any volatile compounds. Volatile compound and descriptive sensory analyses were applied to liquid wheys initially and after 24 hours and 48 hours. Fresh wheys displayed sweet aromatic and cooked milk flavors. Cheddar wheys were distinguished by diacetyl and buttery flavors. Acid wheys-acid casein, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt-had a sour aromatic flavor. Acid casein and cottage cheese wheys had a soapy flavor. Greek yogurt whey had a distinct potato flavor. Acid casein also had both brothy and animal flavors.

In all wheys, cardboard flavors increased and sweet aromatic and buttery flavors decreased with time in storage. Volatile compound profiles were distinct among the various wheys, which was consistent with the results from sensory testing. Lipid oxidation aldehydes increased in all wheys with time in storage. The increases were greatest in Cheddar, then fat-free Cheddar, then acid and rennet wheys.

Further information. Mary Anne Drake, Department of Food Science, 236-E Schaub Hall, Box 7624, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695; phone: 919-513-4598; email:

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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Aug 1, 2016
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