The effect of kefiran on cold-set gelation of whey protein isolate (WPI) at 25 °C was studied using rheological measurements and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). The gelation of samples was induced by the addition of glucono-δ-lactone to the dispersions. WPI concentration was maintained at 8% (w/v) and the concentration of kefiran varied from 0 to 0.08% (w/v). According to rheological measurements, the addition of kefiran into WPI dispersions resulted in a significant increase in the gel strength, the yield stress, and the shear stress values at the flowing point. The gelling point and gelation pH of samples decreased significantly with an increase in kefiran concentration. ESEM micrographs showed that the presence of kefiran played an important role in the microstructure formation of gels. The microstructure of kefiran-WPI mixed gels was more compact and dense, compared to the WPI gel. Depletion interactions between kefiran and whey protein aggregates can be regarded as the chief factor which was responsible for these effects. The present work demonstrated that rheological and microstructural properties of acid-induced whey protein gels were improved by the addition of kefiran.
- Food Science
- Chemistry/Food Science, general
- Whey protein