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Molecular Mass Distribution, Immunological Properties and Nutritive Value of Whey Protein Hydrolysates

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Whey protein concentrate was hydrolyzed using the technical food-grade enzyme Corolase 7092 in order to abolish the allergenicity of whey proteins. The immunological properties of the hydrolysates were tested in vitro with a human-immunoglobulin E (human-IgE) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using sera obtained from children allergic to milk proteins and in vivo with a mouse-rat heterologous passive cutaneous anaphylactic test and an anaphylactic shock test in mice. The protein efficiency ratio, determined in young growing rats, was compared to that of casein. Ultrafiltration of the hydrolysates appeared to be necessary to obtain a hypo-allergenic product. The minimal molecular mass to elicit immunogenicity and allergenicity of whey protein hydrolysates appeared to be between 3,000 and 5,000 Da, so the molecular weight cut-off value of the filters required must be in this range. Although there was no evidence that extensively hydrolyzed whey protein is nutritionally inferior to casein, the slightly bitter taste might reduce food intake.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Nutrition, Department of Biophysical Chemistry, and Department of Analytical Chemistry, Netherlands institute for Dairy Research (NIZO), Ede, the Netherlands

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