Enzyme Promotes Milk Protein Functionality

December 5, 2005

2 Min Read
Enzyme Promotes Milk Protein Functionality

One means of optimizing dairy formulations is to improve the functionality of available milk proteins. Transglutaminase, an enzyme capable of cross-linking proteins, is used to enhance protein performance in numerous food systems. Recognizing that enzyme activity can vary among systems, Ajinomoto Food Ingredients LLC developed Activa® YG, a patented transglutaminase preparation that allows greater enzyme reaction with native milk proteins.

“We offer numerous transglutaminase ingredients, however, many are best suited for meat applications,” says Tony Payne, associate director applications development. “Our latest preparation is designed specifically to promote the enzyme’s activity in milk systems, which results in better functional use of available milk protein.” Activa YG transglutaminase is produced by the microbial fermentation of a naturally occurring, non-GMO organism. The enzyme crosslinks proteins through the formation of covalent bonds using two amino acids, glutamine and lysine. This enables the proteins to behave like larger molecules, producing more viscosity and enhancing texture.

“While most of our work with this new preparation has involved yogurt improvements, we have numerous other applications in mind. The enzyme can potentially increase cheese yield by capturing more protein from the whey during cheese manufacture; enhance the texture and yield of frozen, low-fat desserts; and modify the functionalities of dried milk products,” says Payne.

In yogurt, the transglutaminase preparation increases viscosity and decreases syneresis by improving the waterholding capacity of the gel. This can lead to standard formulations with a richer, high-quality texture or reformulated products that maintain the expected creamy mouthfeel. For example, reduced-solids yogurt made with 1.500% added nonfat dry milk (NFDM) and about 0.016% Activa YG possesses a texture comparable to a standard product with 3.000% added NFDM. In some yogurt formulations, the enzyme system allows the reduction or replacement of certain stabilizers without compromising mouthfeel. “Our product can contribute to a more consumer-appealing label as many people are more accepting of ‘enzyme’ as opposed to ‘gum’ in dairy products,” notes Payne. Activa YG’s ingredient statement is “maltodextrin, lactose, yeast extract and enzyme.”

The transglutaminase reaction is controlled by time and temperature, with lower-reaction temperatures requiring longer reaction time and higher temperatures reducing duration. Active at temperatures ranging from 36°F to 140°F, the enzyme functions optimally at 122°F to 131°F. The active pH range is 5.5 to 8.0, with optimum activity at pH 6.0 to 7.0. Readily dispersible, the powder can be blended with formulation dry ingredients or mixed into a small volume of nonchlorinated water or milk prior to addition at the proper stage in the process.

Ajinomoto Food
Ingredients LLC
8430 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue,
Suite 635
Chicago, IL 60631
Phone: 773/714-1436
Fax: 773/714-1431
Website: www.ajiusafood.com

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