Effect of Hyaluronic Acid on Milk Properties: Rheology, Protein Stability, Acid and Rennet Gelation Properties

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Hyaluronic acid (HA) is gaining popularity and acceptance as a food ingredient. HA has certain properties such as water binding, viscosity manipulation which can be exploited in food products. However, there are limited studies available for the effect of HA on the properties of food, especially in milk and milk products. Studying the effect of HA treatments on milk properties such as viscosity, heat stability, phase separation, rennet, and acid gelation would be beneficial to the processors. The objective was to study the effect of HA at different concentrations on various physico-chemical properties of milk. Whole milk treated with HA showed increased viscosity as a function of HA concentration in both cold and pasteurized milk samples. The frequency sweep results indicated that only a higher HA concentration (0.5%) was able to achieve the viscoelastic solid behavior (G′ > G″), which was stable over the entire frequency sweep range of 10–150 rad/s. Heat stability of skim milk was negatively impacted as a function of HA concentration. The gravimetric protein phase separation during skim milk storage was also negatively impacted as a function of HA concentrations up to 0.25%. However, higher HA concentration (0.5%) reduced the phase separation. In the case of rennet gel and acid gel studies, the gelation properties and the gel structure was negatively impacted as a function of HA concentration. The negative effect of HA on rennet and acid gelation properties could be as a result of depletion–flocculation mechanism leading to micro-phase separation interference by HA polymer in the formation of continuous protein gel network.

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Food Hydrocolloids



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