Chemistry and Physical Properties :
Milk contains 3.3% total protein. Milk proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids required by humans. There are 2 major categories of milk protein that are broadly defined by their chemical composition and physical properties. The casein family contains phosphorus and will coagulate or precipitate at pH 4.6. The serum (whey) proteins do not contain phosphorus, and these proteins remain in solution in milk at pH 4.6.
Casein micelles are spherical and are 0.04 to 0.3 µm in diameter, much smaller than fat globules which are approximately 1 µm in homogenized milk. The casein micelles are porous structures that allow the water phase to move freely in and out of the micelle. Casein micelles are stable but dynamic structures that do not settle out of solution. They can be heated to boiling or cooled, and they can be dried and reconstituted without adverse effects. ß-casein, along with some calcium phosphate, will migrate in and out of the micelle with changes in temperature, but this does not affect the nutritional properties of the protein and minerals.
The whey proteins exist as individual units dissolved in the water phase of milk.
Characteristics and Applition:
The protein in milk has a quality higher than many other foods but the quantity of milk protein is low due to high water content. Milk protein contains all the essential amino acids required by the body for optimum growth. For this reason, more of the protein can be used for protein anabolism so there's less chance the protein in milk will be converted to fat and stored.
The downside is whole milk contains high fat levels so to lose weight it would be best to substitute whole milk for semi-skimmed milk as much as possible. To obtain a complete protein source its much better to combine plant foods as these are very low in calories and contain more fiber.
All plant foods have a lower biological protein quality, they lack certain amino acids but what some plants lack in amino acids others have in abundance so its possible to find foods that complement each other to make a complete protein source.
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