The effect of emulsifying salts on the turbidity of a diluted milk system with varying pH and protein concentration

M. D. Culler, Y. Saricay, F. M. Harte

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16 Scopus citations


Solutions of 10 commonly used emulsifying salts (ES) listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR133.179) for pasteurized process cheese were tested for their effect on the turbidity of a diluted milk system at different pH and protein concentrations to characterize the conditions that affect micellar structure. Emulsifying salt solutions were made by mixing the ES in a 1-in-20 dilution of water in skim milk ultrafiltrate (3 kDa molecular weight cut-off) to obtain ES concentrations from 0 to 248 mM. Skim milk was added to solutions containing nanopure water, skim milk ultrafiltrate, and a specific ES ranging in concentration from 0 to 248 mM and pH 5, 5.8, 6.8, 7.8, and 8.8. The turbidity of the samples was measured as the optical density at 400 nm immediately after mixing (time, t = 0), after 30 s (t = 30s), and after 30 min (t = 30min). Emulsifying salts were found to cause a decrease in the turbidity of the system, which was modeled using an exponential decay model, where C* represents a threshold salt concentration at which rapid dissociation occurs. At pH values 5.8 and 6.8, the ES caused the greatest decrease in turbidity of the diluted milk system. At pH 5, the ES had the least effect on the turbidity of the system. Sodium hexametaphosphate was found to have the strongest dissociative effect, with a C* value of 0.33 mM for t = 0 at pH 6.8. In contrast, the largest C* value calculated at pH 6.8 was monosodium phosphate at 278.22 mM. Increased time resulted in lower C* values. The model established for this study can be used to predict the dissociation of casein micelles in the presence of various types of ES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4241-4252
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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