Fibril assembly in whey protein mixtures

S.G. Bolder

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The objective of this thesis was to study fibril assembly in mixtures of whey proteins. The effect of the composition of the protein mixture on the structures and the resulting phase behaviour was investigated. The current work has shown that beta-lactoglobulin is responsible for the fibril assembly in whey protein mixtures upon heating at pH 2 and low ionic strength. To determine the efficiency of fibril formation, a method was developed to measure the conversion of whey protein monomers into fibrils. This method was used to study the effect of heating time, protein concentration, and stirring and seeding on the formation of fibrils in whey protein isolate solutions. The results have provided a better understanding of the mechanism of fibril formation and a model for fibril formation is proposed, including an activation, nucleation, growth, and termination step. Based on the method to measure the conversion two fast assays were found to determine the fibril concentration quantitatively. These two fast assays can be used for studying the kinetics of protein assembly in general, once they have been calibrated for a certain protein.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van der Linden, Erik, Promotor
  • Sagis, Leonard, Co-promotor
Award date9 Jan 2007
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085045212
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • whey protein
  • gelation
  • rheology
  • optics

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