Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society

, Volume 76, Issue 11, pp 1323–1331 | Cite as

Composition and crystallization of milk fat fractions

  • G. A. van AkenEmail author
  • E. ten Grotenhuis
  • A. J. van Langevelde
  • H. Schenk


Milk fat was fractionated by solvent (acetone) fractionation and dry fractionation. Based on their fatty acid and acyl-carbon profiles, the fractions could be divided into three main groups: high-melting triglycerides (HMT), middle-melting triglycerides (MMT), and low-melting triglycerides (LMT). HMT fractions were enriched in long-chain fatty acids, and reduced in short-chain fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. The MMT fractions were enriched in long-chain fatty acids, and reduced in unsaturated fatty acids. The LMT fractions were reduced in long-chain fatty acids, and enriched in short-chain fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Crystallization of these fractions was studied by differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction techniques. In this study, the stable crystal form appeared to be the β′-form for all fractions. At sufficiently low temperature (different for each fraction), the β′-form is preceded by crystallization in the metastable α-form. An important difference between the fractions is the rate of crystallization in the β′-form, which proceeds at a much lower rate for the lower-melting fat fractions than for the higher-melting fat fractions. This may be due to the much lower affinity for crystallization of the lower-melting fractions, due to the less favorable molecular geometry for packing in the β′-crystal lattice.

Key words

Crystallization differential scanning calorimetry fractionation milk fat polymorphism triglyceride X-ray diffraction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Larsson, K., Alternation of Melting Points in Homologous Series of Long-Chain Compounds, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 43:559–562 (1966).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Timms, R.E., Phase Behaviour of Fats and Their Mixtures, Prog. Lipid Res. 23:1–38 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    ten Grotenhuis, E., G.A. van Aken, K.F. van Malssen, and H. Schenk, Polymorphism of Milk Fat Studied by Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Real-Time X-ray Powder Diffraction, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 76:1031–1039 (1999).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Belousov, A.P., and V.M. Vergelesov, Polymorphism in Butter Fat, Int. Dairy Congr. [Proc.] 16th B122 (1962).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Van Malssen, K.F., Real-Time X-ray Diffraction Applied to Cocoa Butter and Graphite Intercalates, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1994).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wesdorp, L.H. Liquid-Multiple Solid Phase Equilibria in Fats—Theory and Experiments, Ph.D. Thesis, Delft University, The Netherlands (1990).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Antilla, V., Fractionated Milk Fat, Int. Dairy Cong., [Proc] 23rd 3:1980–1986 (1991).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Antilla, V., The Fractionation of Milk Fat, Milk Ind. 81:17–20 (1979).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kaylegian, K.E., and R.C. Lindsay, Handbook of Milkfat Fractionation Technology and Applications, AOCS Press, Champaign, 1995.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Amer, M.A., D.B. Kupranyez, and B.E. Baker, Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Butter Fat Fractions Obtained by Crystallization from Molten Fat, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 62:1551–1557 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dimick, P.S., S. Yella Reddy, and G.R. Ziegler, Chemical and Thermal Characteristics of Milk-Fat Fractions Isolated by a Melt Crystallization, Ibid.:1647–1652 (1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Deffense, E., Multi-Step Butteroil Fractionation and Spreadable Butter, Fat Sci. Technol. 13:502–507 (1987).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Deffense, E., Milk Fat Fractionation Today: A Review, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 70:1193–1201 (1993).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kumar, P., and P.N. Thakar, Fractionation of Milk Fat—Processes Used and Properties of Fractions—A Review, Ind. J. Dairy Sci. 48:1–11 (1995).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rajah, K.K., Fat Products Using Fractionation and Hydrogenation, in Fats in Food Products, edited by D.P.J. Moran and K.K. Rajah, Blackie Academic & Professional, London, 1994, pp. 277–317.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Timms, R.E., The Phase Behaviour and Polymorphism of Milk Fat, Milk Fat Fractions, and Fully Hardened Milk Fat, Aust. J. Dairy Technol. 35:47–53 (1980).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Marangoni, A.G., and R.W. Lencki, Ternary Phase Behavior of Milk Fat Fractions, J. Agric. Food Chem. 46:3879–3884 (1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Timms, R.E., The Phase Behaviour of Mixtures of Cocoa Butter and Milk Fat, Lebensm. Wiss. Technol. 13:61–65 (1980).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Badings, H.T., and C. de Jong, Glass Capillary Gas Chromatography of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters. A Study of Conditions for the Quantitative Analysis of Short- and Long-Chain Fatty Acids in Lipids, J. Chromatogr. 279:493–506 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Van Malssen, K.F., R. Peschar, and H. Schenk, Geometrical Aspects of Real-Time Powder Diffraction Using a Normal Generator and a Linear Diode Array Detector, J. Appl. Cryst. 27:302–315 (1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lohman, M.H., and R.W. Hartel, Effect of Milk Fat Fractions on Fat Bloom in Dark Chocolate, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 71:267–276 (1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kuksis, A., L. Marai, and J.J. Myher, Triglyceride Structure of Milk Fats, Ibid.:193–201 (1973).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Schaap, J.E., H.T. Badings, D.G. Schmidt, and E. Frede, Differences in Butterfat Crystals, Crystallized from Acetone and from the Melt, Neth. Milk Dairy J. 29:242–252 (1975).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Woodrow, I.L., and J.M. deMan, Polymorphism in Milk Fat Shown by X-Ray Diffraction and Infrared Spectroscopy, J. Dairy Sci. 51:996–1000 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sato, K., and T. Kuroda, Kinetics of Melt Crystallization and Transformation of Tripalmitin Polymorphs, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 64:124–127 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Buckle, E.R., Studies on the Freezing of Pure Liquids, II. The Kinetics of Homogeneous Nucleation in Supercooled Liquids, Proc. R. Soc. Ser. A 261:189–196 (1961).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Voss, E., U. Beyerlein, and E. Schmanke, Probleme der Technischen Fraktionierung von Butterfett mit Hilfe des Fettkörnchen-Filtrationsverfahrens, Milchwissenschaft 26:605–613 (1971).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schaap, J., and G.A.M. Rutten, Effect of Technological Factors on the Crystallization of Bulk Milk Fat, Neth. Milk Dairy J. 30:197–206 (1976).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. van Aken
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. ten Grotenhuis
    • 1
  • A. J. van Langevelde
    • 2
  • H. Schenk
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of TechnologyNetherlands Institute for Dairy Research (NIZO)The Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for Molecular Chemistry (IMC), Laboratory of CrystallographyUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations