Although widely adopted by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in recent years, little published data is available regarding possible applications of high pressure homogenisation for dairy products. The objective of this work was to compare the effects of conventional (18 MPa, two-stage) and single or two-stage high pressure homogenisation (HPH) at 50–200 MPa on some properties of raw whole bovine milk (∼4% fat). Fat globule size decreased as HPH pressure increased and, under certain conditions of temperature and pressure, HPH yielded significantly smaller fat globules than conventional homogenisation. Fat globule size was also affected by milk inlet temperature. The pH of all homogenised milk samples decreased during 24 h refrigerated storage. Total bacterial counts of milk were decreased significantly (P<0·05) for milk samples HPH-treated at 150 or 200 MPa. Whiteness and rennet coagulation properties of milk were unaffected or enhanced, respectively, as homogenisation pressure was increased. Average casein micelle size decreased slightly when skim milk was homogenised at 200 MPa. Thus, HPH treatment has several, potentially significant, effects on milk properties.
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