Potential Applications of Milk Fractions and Valorization of Dairy By-Products: A Review of the State-of-the-Art Available Data, Outlining the Innovation Potential from a Bigger Data Standpoint


The unique composition of milk makes this basic foodstuff into an exceptional raw material for the production of new ingredients with desired properties and diverse applications in the food industry. The fractionation of milk is the key in the development of those ingredients and products; hence continuous research and development on this field, especially various levels of fractionation and separation by filtration, have been carried out. This review focuses on the production of milk fractions as well as their particular properties, applications and processes that increase their exploitation. Whey proteins and caseins from the protein fraction are excellent emulsifiers and protein supplements. Besides, they can be chemically or enzymatically modified to obtain bioactive peptides with numerous functional and nutritional properties. In this context, valorization techniques of cheese-whey proteins, by-product of dairy industry that constitutes both economic and environmental problems, are being developed. Phospholipids from the milk fat fraction are powerful emulsifiers and also have exclusive nutraceutical properties. In addition, enzyme modification of milk phospholipids makes it possible to tailor emulsifiers with particular properties. However, several aspects remain to be overcome; those refer to a deeper understanding of the healthy, functional and nutritional properties of these new ingredients that might be barriers for its use and acceptability. Additionally, in this review, alternative applications of milk constituents in the non-food area such as in the manufacture of plastic materials and textile fibers are also introduced. The unmet needs, the cross-fertilization in between various protein domains,the carbon footprint requirements, the environmental necessities, the health and wellness new demand, etc., are dominant factors in the search for innovation approaches; these factors are also outlining the further innovation potential deriving from those “apparent” constrains obliging science and technology to take them into account.

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Rebouillat, S. and Ortega-Requena, S. (2015) Potential Applications of Milk Fractions and Valorization of Dairy By-Products: A Review of the State-of-the-Art Available Data, Outlining the Innovation Potential from a Bigger Data Standpoint. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology, 6, 176-203. doi: 10.4236/jbnb.2015.63018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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