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Milk proteins: nourishing health and boosting immunity

Milk stands as a nutritional cornerstone for human health. Within its creamy embrace lies a trove of essential nutrients and at the forefront of this nutritional richness are bioactive proteins, crucial for fortifying the immune system. Understanding the significance of these proteins becomes even more paramount when crafting infant formula, where the manipulation of macronutrients aims to mirror the composition of human milk.

However, the journey from bovine milk to infant formula is not without challenges. The production process involves various thermal treatments, each with its own set of consequences for bioactive proteins. In particular, the focus on lactoferrin (LF), immunoglobulin G (IgG), and lactoperoxidase (LP) reveals the impact of treatments such as pasteurization, ultra-high-temperature processing (UHT), and spray-drying (SD).

The impact of traditional treatment

UHT, employed for sterilization, triggers Maillard reactions in milk, leading to lipid and protein oxidation and aggregation during prolonged storage. These reactions can affect the formula’s shelf life and decrease the levels of native proteins. High-temperature short-time (HTST) and low-temperature long-time (LTLT) pasteurization methods, while causing lower immunoprotein degradation, fall short of providing a 100% reduction in harmful bacteria and spores, impacting the purity of lactoferrin powder.

Recent research highlights the significant decrease in bioactive protein content after various treatments compared to raw milk. LF concentrations in milk serum retain 70% and 50% after HTST and LTLT treatments, respectively. IgG concentrations witness a decline of nearly 20% after HTST and about 10% after LTLT treatment. LP levels decrease by 56% and 81% after LTLT and HTST, respectively.

Maintaining 99% of proteins with nanoPEF

Amidst these challenges, a solution emerges in the form of nanoPEF (nanosecond pulsed electric field) technology. Unlike traditional thermal treatments that invariably lead to the loss of immune-active proteins, nanoPEF preservation stands out for its ability to maintain the integrity of milk proteins while ensuring the same safety levels as conventional pasteurization.

In extensive research, nanoPEF treated milk, specifically examining Immunoglobulin and Immunoglobulin G (IgG), revealed a remarkable retention rate of 99.8% of all proteins. This retention surpasses traditional HTST pasteurization (72°C/15s) by 20%, underlining the superiority of nanoPEF in preserving the vital components of milk.

Get in touch

As a leading company within the field of nanoPEF technology, PEF Technologies can help companies and universities to implement nanoPEF in their production process or food research. With its ability to retain immune-active proteins without compromising safety, nanoPEF promises not only to revolutionize the production of infant formula but also to pave the way for a new era in the creation of dairy products that truly prioritize health and well-being. Let’s get in touch to discuss what nanoPEF can do for your company. Fill out the form below, and we will get back to you with all the information you need.