High efficiency enrichment of total and single whey proteins by pH controlled foam fractionation

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The feasibility of foam fractionation, as an alternative to other more commonly used methods, to effectively separate total whey proteins and single fractions has been studied. The investigation focused on the effects of different process parameters such as the pH value, the initial protein concentration, the flow rate and the addition of sodium dodecyl sulfate concentration as a surfactant. Whey proteins could be almost completely enriched into the foam fraction at pH values between 2 and 3; only traces of them remained in the residual whey solution. Albumin bovine, β-lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin from whey solutions in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate could be transferred into the foam fraction with enrichment ratios of up to 30 and with recovery rates between 64.5% and 99.8%. The results demonstrate that enriching whey proteins using foam fractionation can be quantitative and effective according to process parameters.

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