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Influence of calcium depletion on iron-binding properties of milk

, : Influence of calcium depletion on iron-binding properties of milk. Journal of Dairy Science 98(4): 2103-2113

We investigated the effects of calcium depletion on the binding of iron in milk. A weakly acidic cation-exchange resin was used to remove 3 different levels (18-22, 50-55, and 68-72%) of calcium from milk. Five levels of iron (5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 mM) were added to each of these calcium-depleted milks (CDM) and the resultant milks were analyzed for particle size, microstructure, and the distribution of protein and minerals between the colloidal and soluble phases. The depletion of calcium affected the distribution of protein and minerals in normal milk. Iron added to normal milk and low-CDM (~20% calcium depletion) bound mainly to the colloidal phase (material sedimented at 100,000 × g for 1 h at 20 °C), with little effect on the integrity of the casein micelles. Depletion of ~70% of the calcium from milk resulted in almost complete disintegration of the casein micelles, as indicated by all the protein remaining in the soluble phase upon ultracentrifugation. Addition of up to ~20 mM iron to high CDM resulted in the formation of small fibrous structures that remained in the soluble phase of milk. It appeared that the iron bound to soluble (nonsedimentable) caseins in high-CDM. We observed a decrease in the aqueous phosphorus content of all milks upon iron addition, irrespective of their calcium content. We considered the interaction between aqueous phosphorus and added iron to be responsible for the high iron-binding capacity of the proteins in milk. The soluble protein-iron complexes formed in high-CDM (~70% calcium depletion) could be used as an effective iron fortificant for a range of food products because of their good solubility characteristics.


PMID: 25648803

DOI: 10.3168/jds.2014-8474

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