1. Characterize the impact of pHm mineral depletion (diafiltration), mineral chelation, and chelator type on (a) SMP/NFDM functionality, solubility, heat stability, opactity, gel strength; and (b) biofilm formation or heat exchanger fouling. </P>
2. Characterize the impact of pH, mineral depletion, mineral chelation and chelator type on SMP/NFDM functionality, heat stability, opacity, gel strength. </P>
3. Characterize the impact of pH, mineral depletion, mineral chelation and chelator type on biofilm formation </P>
4. Understand role of mineral composition changes, mineral chelation and pH on state of milk protein interactions as measured by particle size, surface hydrophobicity, sulfhydryl interactions, and their influence on SMP functional properties. </P>
5. Document changes in functional properties of treated samples of SMP/NFDM with storage time.
This study will modify and improve the processability, microbiological quality, and the functionality of skim milk powders (SMP) or nonfat dry milk (NFDM) by manipulating its composition and activity of milk minerals. Researchers will change the composition and activity of milk minerals in concentrated milk solutions by adding mineral chelators (citrates, phosphates, EDTA), adjusting the pH, and selectively deplete minerals using nanofiltration. Researchers will then evaluate how the various changes in composition influence heat exchanger fouling, spore attachment, and finished product functionality (solubility, heat stability, opacity, gel strength of SMP/NFDM). </P> The study will demonstrate important differences in ingredient properties of modified dairy ingredients by comparing their functional performance and microbiological quality relative to untreated control samples.