The use of sedimentation field-flow fractionation in the size characterization of bovine milk fat globules as affected by heat treatment

Vassilios Raikos, John Kapolos, Lambros Farmakis, Athanasia Koliadima, George Karaiskakis

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Size distribution of fat globules affects the appearance, taste and stability of milk and milk-based products. Full-fat, semi-fat and chocolate bovine milk were subjected to heat treatment within a temperature range of 50-125 °C for 1 h. Sedimentation field-flow fractionation was employed to determine the changes in mean particle diameter of milk fat globules as affected by heat treatment. The mean particle diameter of fat droplets increased with increasing heating temperature for most samples. The particle size of fat globules increased on average 40 nm (4.65%) for full-fat and 72 nm (8.52%) for semi-fat milk following the heat treatment (50-125 °C). Chocolate milk exhibited considerable increase in particle size (104 nm, 12.53%) within a certain temperature range (50-110 °C), followed by a decrease in particle size when heated at 125 °C for 1 h. Heat-induced flocculation due to attractive interactions between hydrophobic sites on denatured protein molecules on different droplets was assumed to be mainly responsible for the increases in particle size observed in this study. Extensive heat-induced denaturation of milk proteins was also indicated by Native PAGE. Sedimentation field-flow fractionation proved to be a useful technique for adequately monitoring heat-induced changes in particle size distributions in milk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalFood Research International
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009



  • milk
  • fat globules
  • particle size
  • denaturation
  • temperature

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