Permeate's potential

by Donna Berry
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Advanced separation technologies enabled commercial development of permeate, also called dairy product solids — a rather new offering in the dairy ingredients sector and one that is making major inroads in product development. This high-lactose dairy ingredient is produced by collecting protein and other solids from milk or whey via physical separation techniques.

Idaho Milk Products is all about taking farm-fresh milk daily and using separation technology to create three ingredients: cream, milk permeate powder (MPP) and milk protein concentrate (MPC). “MPP does not contain any interfering whey proteins; thus, it will not impede formation and stabilization of the air pocket structure in rising baked goods,” said Jessica Henry, marketing manager, Idaho Milk Products, Jerome, ID. “At the same time, the lactose in MPP helps enhance appetite appeal by yielding a desirable browning color and preferred toasted dairy flavor.”

Permeate, sweet whey and whey protein concentrate with a 34% protein content (WPC34) can be used as an economic replacement to high-heat NFDM, according to Jill Rippe, director of R&D, Agropur Ingredients, La Crosse, WI. “While WPC34 is comparable in composition to NFDM in protein and lactose, sweet whey will add less protein and more lactose, while permeate adds no protein and even more lactose,” she said. “Decreasing protein reduces water binding, and increasing lactose enhances browning. So, varying protein and lactose content with WPC/whey/permeate blends will modify batter and dough functionality, reducing costs while retaining certain benefits of NFDM.”

Additionally, permeate lets bakers cut down on added salt, enabling reduced-sodium formulations with enhanced browning or sweetness.

“The milk minerals and nitrogen compounds in MPP deliver a desirable salty flavor without contributing to a high-sodium content,” Ms. Henry said. “Our MPP can reduce salt in pizza crust formulations by more than 70%.”

After dairy products, baked goods are the second most common application for permeate, representing 18% of all new product launches in 2014, according to data from Innova Market Insights, Arnhem, The Netherlands. Baked products, such as breads, crackers, cookies, snacks and sweet goods, benefit from permeate’s contribution to browning, moisture retention, and pleasant salty and caramelized flavors.

“US suppliers have invested research and development efforts revealing the sensory, functional and nutritional benefits of whey and milk permeates as cost-saving, flavor-enhancing ingredients,” said Vikki Nicholson, senior vice-president of global marketing, US Dairy Export Council, Arlington, VA.

Concentrated whey protein ingredients such as WPI and whey protein concentrate 80% (WPC80) contain lactalbumin whey proteins, which emulsify batters and gel in baked goods, similar to egg white albumin. As concentrated sources of protein, these dairy ingredients can also contribute nutrition.

“Our WPI and WPC80 are ideal for enhancing protein in bakery mixes, such as pancakes, bars and cookies, up to 20 g protein per serving,” Ms. Rippe said. “The high water-binding properties of whey proteins must be taken into account in the formulation.”

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