Concentrated protein gels were prepared using native whey protein isolate (WPI) and WPI based microparticles. WPI microparticles were produced by making gel pieces from a concentrated WPI suspension (40% w/w), which were dried and milled. The protein within the microparticles was denatured and the protein concentration after drying was similar to the native WPI powder. WPI microparticles had irregular shape with an average size of about 70 mm. They absorbed water when dispersed in water, but the dispersion did not gel upon heating. Replacing part of the native WPI powder with WPI microparticles in the protein gel resulted in lower gel stiffness compared with a gel with the same overall protein concentration but without microparticles. However, microparticles also strengthened the continuous phase because they take up water from this phase. This might increase gel stiffness more than would be expected from an inert particle/filler. There was also good bonding between the microparticles and the WPI continuous phase in the gel, which contributed to gel stiffness.
- rheological properties