Formation, stability, and sensory characteristics of a lentil-based milk substitute as affected by homogenisation and pasteurisation


This study aimed to investigate the suitability of lentil protein and emulsions thereof for the formulation of a milk substitute. The effect of high-pressure homogenisation and heat treatments on functional and physico-chemical properties of lentil protein solutions (3.3% w/w) and the emulsions, containing fat contents similar to commercial cow’s milk, was studied. Dynamic high-pressure treatments of 180 and 900 bar greatly affected physical and structural properties of the lentil proteins: the particle size was reduced by 100-fold to 129.00 nm for samples homogenised at 900 bar, leading to an almost complete solubilisation. Surface properties of lentil protein changed, as shown in an increase of hydrophobicity and decrease of free sulfhydryl groups, while changes in secondary structure and aggregation did not develop. Little impact was observed of the heat-treatment at 65 or 85 °C, however, colour changed from a faint pink hue to be more white in appearance. The obtained emulsions exhibited good colloidal stability at both homogenisation pressures, while overall product quality was best when treated at 900 bar. Sensory analyses showed the formulated lentil-based milk substitute had textural and organoleptic profiles comparable to commercial plant-based milk substitutes, including soya-based products. Lentil protein isolates showed great potential to be used formulating milk substitutes with a high-protein content, similar to cow’s milk.

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The work for this publication has been undertaken as part of the PROTEIN2FOOD project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 635727. We thank our colleagues Martin Vogelsang O’Dwyer, Lilit Ispiryan and Michael Cronin for technical assistance, and James A. O’Mahony, Martina Hickisch and Dave Waldron, who provided insight and expertise that greatly assisted the work.

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Correspondence to Elke K. Arendt.

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Jeske, S., Bez, J., Arendt, E.K. et al. Formation, stability, and sensory characteristics of a lentil-based milk substitute as affected by homogenisation and pasteurisation. Eur Food Res Technol 245, 1519–1531 (2019).

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  • Lentil protein
  • Milk substitutes
  • Emulsion
  • Protein functionality
  • Homogenisation
  • Pasteurisation