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Utilization of Reconstituted Whey Powder and Microbial Transglutaminase in Ayran (Drinking Yogurt) Production 

Ceren Akal*orcid tiny, Celalettin Koçakorcid tiny, Nazlı Kancaorcid tiny and Barbaros Özerorcid tiny

Department of Dairy Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Ankara University, Sehit Omer Halisdemir Cad., 06110, Diskapi, Ankara, Turkey

Article history:

Received: 12 January 2021

Accepted: 15 February 2022

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fermented products; whey; transglutaminase; SDS-PAGE; volatile profile; rheology



Research backgroundIn industrial ayran production, milk is diluted to the desired protein content (2 % (m/V)) prior to fermentation by yogurt starter cultures by partial replacement of cheese whey in reconstituted form with potable water. This may be an alternative way of protein recovery from cheese by-products as well as reducing the production costs since less milk is used in ayran production. On the other hand, the balance between milk caseins and whey proteins is disturbed when cheese whey is added to milk for ayran production, which likely leads to a time-dependent phase separation during cold storage. Modification of ayran matrix by enzymatic crosslinking of proteins may be a solution to overcome this potential physical instability of ayran. This topic has not been explored to date, and the present study was designed to investigate the possibilities of utilization of reconstituted whey powder (RWP) and microbial transglutaminase (MTG) in ayran production.

Experimental approachMilk was diluted to obtain 2 % protein level using RWP and potable water. The aim of utilization of RWP was to meet 5, 10 or 15 % of the protein content of the final product. RWP solutions were obtained by calculating the amounts of whey powder required to meet the specified ratios and mixing it with the water required for dilution. We prepared eight different ayran samples divided in three groups, namely group A: prepared by partially diluting milk with RWP to obtain 5, 10 or 15 % of total protein amount in the product, group AMTG: prepared by adding microbial transglutaminase (0.5 U per g of protein) to group A samples, and control group without RWP and with or without the addition of MTG. The gross composition, physical (phase separation and viscosity, chemical (volatile and peptide profiles and SDS-PAGE electrophoresis patterns) and sensory properties of the samples were evaluated throughout 15 days of storage with weekly intervals.

Results and conclusionsSince the amounts of whey powder used to obtain RWP were different, dry matter levels of the samples differed. Using RWP in ayran production increased the phase separation slightly. Incorporation of MTG affected the physical properties of the ayran samples positively and prevented phase separation at a satisfactory level. SDS-PAGE electrophoretograms revealed that cross-linking between proteins triggered by MTG formed intense bonds at high molecular mass regions. The remaining parameters were not affected by MTG. Results revealed that the samples with 10 % RWP with and without the addition of MTG were determined as the formulations with the highest commercialization potential.

Novelty and scientific contributionUtilizing RWP in the production of ayran to reduce the protein content of the final product to the desired level is a new approach. Since complete replacement of RWP with potable water to dilute milk to reach 2 % (m/V) protein likely leads to lower sensory scores, we have investigated a possibility of partial replacement of RWP with potable water. A time-dependent phase separation is the major challenge of industrial ayran production. This physical problem was largely eliminated by means of MTG-mediated cross-linking of milk proteins. The proposed novel ayran production method offers dairy industry reduction of production costs and contributes to sustainability in milk production since smaller volume of milk is used to reach desired protein content in the final product.

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