Effect of Sodium Caseinates Addition on the Rheological Properties of Kefir during Gel Formation

Kleio D. Antoniou, Stylianos Exarhopoulos, Stylianos N. Raphaelides, Georgia Dimitreli, Apostolos S. Thomareis


The effect of Sodium Caseinates (SCN) addition on the rheological behavior of kefir during gel formation was monitored by means of a dynamic rheometer of novel design (U-tube Rheometer). Kefir samples were prepared from homogenized and pasteurized full fat (3.5% w/w) bovine milk with or without the addition of SCN at varying concentrations (1%, 2% or 3% w/w). A fermented milk inoculum derived from kefir grains was inoculated into the heat-treated milk and incubated at 25°C until the pH dropped to 4.6. According to the results, the fermentation time required for the onset of gelation, as well as for the pH value to reach 4.6 increased with increasing SCN concentration. The beginning of cross-linking of proteins towards aggregates that leads to the formation of a three-dimensional protein matrix, took place at higher pH values with increasing SCN concentration. The values of elastic modulus and loss tangent that correspond to this point decreased with increasing SCN content. The increase in SCN concentration caused the values of elastic modulus during gel formation to increase and those of loss tangent to decrease. The addition of caseins into the milk increased the number and the strength of the protein-protein interactions causing the elastic behavior of the samples to increase. The presence of SCN into the system of kefir greatly affected the formation of the kefir gel.


kefir, sodium caseinates, gel formation, U-tube rheometer, viscoelastic properties

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v5n1p114


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