The effect of spray drying on the difference in flavor and functional properties of liquid and dried whey proteins, milk proteins, and micellar casein concentrates

J Dairy Sci. 2018 May;101(5):3900-3909. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-13780. Epub 2018 Mar 1.


Traditionally most protein ingredients are sold as a powder due to transport ease and longer shelf life. Many high-protein powder ingredients such as milk protein concentrate with 85% protein and micellar casein concentrate have poor rehydration properties (e.g., solubility) after storage, which might limit their use. An alternative to the production of dried protein ingredients is the option to use liquid protein ingredients, which saves the cost of spray drying, but may also improve flavor and offer different functional properties. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of spray drying on the flavor and functionality of high-protein ingredients. Liquid and dried protein ingredients (whey protein concentrate with 80% protein, whey protein isolate, milk protein concentrate with 85% protein, and micellar casein concentrate) were manufactured from the same lot of milk at the North Carolina State University pilot plant. Functional differences were evaluated by measurement of foam stability and heat stability. Heat stability was evaluated by heating at 90°C for 0, 10, 20, and 30 min followed by micro-bicinchoninic acid and turbidity loss measurements. Sensory properties were evaluated by descriptive analysis, and volatile compounds were evaluated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. No differences were detected in protein heat stability between liquids and powders when spray dried under these conditions. Whey protein concentrate with 80% protein (liquid or spray dried) did not produce a foam. All powders had higher aroma intensity and cooked flavors compared with liquids. Powder proteins also had low but distinct cardboard flavor concurrent with higher relative abundance of volatile aldehydes compared with liquids. An understanding of how spray drying affects both flavor and functionality may help food processors better use the ingredients they have available to them.

Keywords: dairy protein; flavor; functionality; spray drying.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caseins / chemistry
  • Cattle
  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry*
  • Food Handling / instrumentation
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Micelles
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk Proteins / chemistry*
  • North Carolina
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Powders / chemistry
  • Taste
  • Whey Proteins / chemistry


  • Caseins
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Micelles
  • Milk Proteins
  • Powders
  • Whey Proteins