In a case study, we monitored the physical properties of 2 batches of whey protein concentrate (WPC) under adverse storage conditions to provide information on shelf life in hot, humid areas. Whey protein concentrates with 34.9 g of protein/100g (WPC34) and 76.8 g of protein/100g (WPC80) were stored for up to 18 mo under ambient conditions and at elevated temperature and relative humidity. The samples became yellower with storage; those stored at 35 °C were removed from the study by 12 mo because of their unsatisfactory appearance. Decreases in lysine and increases in water activity, volatile compound formation, and powder caking values were observed in many specimens. Levels of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, coliforms, yeast, and mold were <3.85 log10 cfu/g in all samples. Relative humidity was not a factor in most samples. When stored in sealed bags, these samples of WPC34 and WPC80 had a shelf life of 9 mo at 35 °C but at least 18 mo at lower temperatures, which should extend the market for these products.
Keywords: color; powder flow; volatiles; whey protein concentrate.
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