Yak milk whey protein denaturation and casein micelle disaggregation/aggregation at different pH and temperature

Wang, Lifeng ; Ma, Ying ; Cui, Jie ; Oyeyinka, Samson ; Cheng, J ; He, S (2017-03-22)


At the natural pH of yak milk (pH 6.6), a low level (<30%) of κ-casein (κ-CN) was found in the serum phase after heating at 95 °C for 30 min, indicating that as much as 70% of the β-lactoglobulin (β-Lg) and κ-CN complexes is associated with the micelle colloidal particles. The β-Lg and κ-CN levels increased from 13.2% and 2.6% at pH 6.0 to 35.2% and 60.1% at pH 7.0, respectively, when yak milk was heated at 95 °C for 30 min. At pH 6.0–6.4, the denatured whey proteins were associated with the caseins in the colloidal phase, resulting in milk gelation upon heating. The distribution of β-Lg and κ-CN complexes increased in the serum phase, demonstrated by the increasing levels of both β-Lg and κ-CN with increasing pH; at high pH (6.6–7.0), large proportions of β-Lg and α-lactalbumin were lost, presumably forming complexes in the colloidal phase.