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The article presents the results of experimental joint studies of changes in the viscosity and microstructure of milk at the enzymatic stage of gelation. Based on the statistical processing of the array of research results, it was determined that the viscosity change at this stage is not monotonic, as it is usually stated, but two-stage in the middle part and S-shaped, preceding the gel point, at its end. It was found that the S-shaped change in viscosity at the end of the enzymatic stage of milk coagulation coincides with changes in the microstructure of casein micelles and reflects the existence of a cooperative conformational phase transition in casein molecules of micelle clusters. A description of the possible mechanism of this phase transition is proposed. It was noted that the moment of the S-shaped change in the milk viscosity at the enzymatic gelation stage and the corresponding cooperative phase transition in casein micelles are a physical reflection of the gel point. The research results provide a better understanding of the mechanism of enzymatic coagulation of milk in a cheesemaking tank.

About the Author

I. T. Smykov
All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Butter — and Cheesemaking — Branch of V. M. Gorbatov Federal Research Center for Food Systems of RAS
Russian Federation

Igor T. Smykov — doctor of technical sciences, chief research scientist.

Krasnoarmeysky Boulevard, 19, Uglich, Yaroslavl Region, 152613 


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ISSN 2618-9771 (Print)
ISSN 2618-7272 (Online)