Effect of high pressure homogenization on the structure and the interfacial and emulsifying properties of β-lactoglobulin

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The effect of high pressure homogenization (HPH) on the structure of β-lactoglobulin (β-lg) was studied by combining spectroscopic, chromatographic, and electrophoretic methods. The consequences of the resulting structure modifications on oil/water (O/W) interfacial properties were also assessed. Moderated HPH treatment (100 MPa/4 cycles) showed no significant modification of protein structure and interfacial properties. However, a harsher HPH treatment (300 MPa/5 cycles) induced structural transformation, mainly from β-sheets to random coils, wide loss in lipocalin core, and protein aggregation via intermolecular disulfide bridges. HPH-modified β-lg displayed higher surface hydrophobicity leading to a faster adsorption rate at the interface and an earlier formation of an elastic interfacial film at Cβ-lg = 0.1 wt%. However, no modification of the interfacial properties was observed at Cβ-lg = 1 wt%. At this protein concentration, the prior denaturation of β-lg by HPH did not modify the droplet size of nanoemulsions prepared with these β-lg solutions as the aqueous phases. A slightly increased creaming rate was however observed. The effects of HPH and heat denaturations appeared qualitatively similar, but with differences in their extent.

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