Characterization and structure of cold-extruded whey protein isolate: impact of ball milling

  • Nan Yang
  • Tianqi Li
  • Ling Ma
  • Dongxue Sun
  • Zhanmei JiangEmail author
  • Juncai HouEmail author
Original Article


The effect of ball milling on physicochemical, functional and rheological properties and structural characteristics of cold-extruded whey protein isolate (TWPI) was investigated as a function of grinding time. Ball milling decreased the free sulfhydryl content of all the samples. Furthermore, ball milling and cold extrusion could enhance surface hydrophobicity, emulsifying and rheological properties of WPI. The solubility of cold-extruded WPI was far higher than the traditional heat-extruded WPI. The viscoelastic modulus of TWPI, ground by ball milling for 10 h, dramatically increased compared to that of WPI at 85 °C. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that a ball-milling treatment of 2 h remarkably decreased the particle size of all the samples. FTIR demonstrated that ball-milling treatment decreased the ordered secondary structure (α-helix and β-sheet) of WPI. Therefore, a combination of cold extrusion and ball milling could remarkably enhance the emulsifying and rheological properties of WPI, an effective way for providing novel functional ingredients to the dairy industry.


Whey protein isolate Cold extrusion Ball milling Second structure Functional properties 



This study was supported by the project for the Academic Research Program of Northeast Agricultural University (no. 16XG21) and the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province of China (no. C2017029).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Dairy Science (Northeast Agricultural University), Ministry of EducationHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Food ScienceHeilongjiang Bayi Agricultural UniversityDaqingPeople’s Republic of China

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