The proteins in milk consist of casein – from which cheese is made – and serum or whey proteins. However, casein can also be in pure form by acidifying the milk to the iso-electric point at pH 4.6 by either lactic acid or mineral acid. The resulting casein is washed to remove as much of the acid whey as possible, after which it is passed through a decanter, and then dried in a special type ring dryer.
Caseinates are produced, by dissolving the precipitated casein by means of sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide. Caseinates are typically used as protein source in coffee-whiteners, emulsifiers, foam stabilizers,ice creams and desserts, and as emulsifiers/water-binders in meat products.
The majority of caseinates are used in foodstuffs, such as sausages, hams and luncheon meat, where it acts as a fat emulsifier and water binder. It protects the product against drying out and keeping it fresh for a longer time, at the same time enriching the product with protein. The high nutritive value of caseinates makes it applicable in other foodstuffs, in which the protein content should be enriched, i.e. in spaghetti and macaroni.
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