June 24/Guelph, Ontario/Science Letter -- According to recent research from Guelph, Canada, "The effects of whole milk powder, two skim milk powders, caseinate, and two modified whey proteins (2% protein level in the final product) were evaluated in lean chicken meat batters and compared with controls with and without added lactose. All dairy proteins significantly (P<0.05) reduced cook losses when compared against the controls, with the two skim milk powders and modified whey-I showing the best results."
"Hardness and fracturability were also higher for all test batters compared with controls. Skim milk-II showed the highest fracturability value (21.9 vs. 7.1 N for the control) and was also found to be the most cost-effective ingredient for improving moisture binding and texture; skim milk-I and modified whey-I followed behind. Springiness and fracture distance were higher for all of the dairy proteins, except caseinate, indicating a positive contribution to the lean meat system's elasticity," wrote S. Barbut and colleagues, University of Guelph.
The researchers concluded, "In terms of color, adding the skim milk powders, modified whey-II, and whole milk powder resulted in lighter cooked meat batters as evidenced by the higher L* values and higher spectra curves."
Barbut and colleagues published their study in Poultry Science ("Effects of Milk Powder and Its Components on Texture, Yield and Color of a Lean Poultry Meat Model System." Poultry Science, 2010;89(6):1320-1324).
For additional information, contact S. Barbut, University of Guelph, Dept. of Food Science, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
From the July 6, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition