Formation of β Polymorphs in Milk Fats with Large Differences in Triacylglycerol Profiles

Daylan A. Tzompa-Sosa, Pere R. Ramel, Hein J.F. van Valenberg*, George A. van Aken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we characterized the polymorphism of milk fat (MF) with various TAG compositions during isothermal crystallization at 20 °C. TAG composition of MF from seven individual cows was determined using GC-FID and MALDI-TOF MS, and MF polymorphism was studied using X-ray diffraction. Results showed that TAG profile determines the polymorphic behavior of MF. Saturated TAG with carbon numbers 34-38 promoted the formation of α polymorphs, whereas unsaturated TAG with 52-54 promoted the formation of the β polymorphs. Furthermore, MFs with unsaturated fatty acid profiles were increased in unsaturated TAG with 52-54 carbons. The presence of MF crystals in the β polymorph has been controversial over the years as most authors mainly find MF crystals in the α and β′ form. In our work, we showed that the β polymorph is formed in MF on the basis of its TAG composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4152-4157
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • lipid polymorphism
  • milk fat crystallization
  • triacylglycerol
  • X-ray diffraction
  • β polymorphism


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