Impact of UHT treatment and storage on liquid infant formula: Complex structural changes uncovered by centrifugal field-flow fractionation with multi-angle light scattering

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Protein modifications in liquid infant formula (IF) have been widely studied, but distinguishing between heat- and storage-induced structural changes remains challenging. A generic liquid IF was subjected to direct or indirect UHT treatment and stored at 40 °C up to 180 days. Colour and pH were monitored and structural changes were characterised by dynamic light scattering, SDS-PAGE and centrifugal field-flow fractionation (FFF) coupled with multi-angle light scattering (MALS) and UV detectors to evaluate whether heat-induced differences would level out during storage. Both direct- and indirect UHT treatment led to structural changes, where the higher heat load of the indirect UHT treatment caused more pronounced changes. Indications were that storage-induced changes in pH, browning and non-reducible cross-links were not dependent on UHT treatment. However, FFF-MALS-UV analysis allowed characterisation of complex aggregates, where structural changes continued to be most pronounced in indirect UHT treated samples, and different storage-induced aggregation behaviour was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129145
JournalFood Chemistry
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Aggregation, Baby formula, Browning, Casein micelle, Direct UHT, Heating, Indirect UHT, Protein modification, SDS-PAGE, Whey protein

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