Highly Concentrated Micellar Casein Concentrate (HC-MCC) is a food product that is obtained from the microfiltration of skim milk. It is then concentrated via diafiltration and vacuum evaporation, resulting in a solution of casein micelles with a concentration ranging from 17-23%. HC-MCC is unique because the micelles retain their native state and can form a gel in cold temperatures without modification. This creates potential for HC-MCC to be used as a thickener or stabilizer in various dairy products while providing additional protein. The gelation behavior of HC-MCC can be strengthened by modifying the content of the solution, such as adding acidulants, emulsifiers, or stabilizers. This study aims to observe the rheological aspects of HC-MCC gelation behavior and what properties can be modified to increase gel strength and gelling temperature. In addition, particle size analysis, zeta potential, and microscopy techniques will be employed to observe the changes in the casein micelles as a response to these modifications. We believe that with the increase in pH, the inclusion of an emulsifying salt, or the inclusion of carrageenan will strengthen the gel matrix and raise the minimum temperature at which the transition from liquid to gel occurs. In addition, these modifications can lower the minimum protein concentration necessary for gelation to occur.
- Optimize the gelation conditions of HC-MCC by determining the minimum casein concentration in conjunction with pH adjustment and trisodium citrate addition
- Observe the cold gelling behavior of caseins in conjunction with kappa-carrageenan in associative mixtures
- Perform ultrastructure analysis on selected carrageenan-casein gels