The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the heat-treatment sequence of biopolymer mixtures as a formulation parameter on the acid-induced gelation of tri-polymeric systems composed of sodium caseinate (Na-caseinate), whey protein concentrate (WPC), and gum tragacanth (GT). This was studied by applying four sequences of heat treatment: (A) co-heating all three biopolymers; (B) heating the milk-protein dispersion and the GT dispersion separately; (C) heating the dispersion containing Nacaseinate and GT together and heating whey protein alone; and (D) co-heating whey protein with GT and heating Na-caseinate alone. According to small-deformation theological measurements, the strength of the mixed-gel network decreased in the order: C > B > D > A samples. SEM micrographs show that the network of sample C is much more homogenous, coarse and dense than sample A, while the networks of samples B and D are of intermediate density. The heat-treatment sequence of the biopolymer mixtures as a formulation parameter thus offers an opportunity to control the microstructure and theological properties of mixed gels. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.