Mechanisms of drying-induced particle formation in solutions of dairy proteins:a multiscale approach - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2019

Mechanisms of drying-induced particle formation in solutions of dairy proteins:a multiscale approach


Spray drying is a well-established process, but the phenomena ruling droplet-to-particle transition remain black box, resulting in variable powder properties and drying performances. Therefore, understanding precisely how the particle is formed and how to control its properties remain a major challenge. This work aims to breakdown the complexity of the drying phenomena using an exploratory multi-scale approach. Particle formation of different milk proteins (whey proteins and casein micelles) was investigated using different experimental systems (single pendant droplet, mono-dispersed droplets and spraying cone droplets) in controlled drying environments. The results showed that the drying of a single protein droplet included three distinct stages highlighting the occurrence of specific morphological events (constant rate shrinkage, buckling instability, vacuole nucleation). According to the type of proteins, these stages differed in drying kinetics and droplet dynamics, leading to characteristic and reproducible particle shapes irrespective of the droplet configuration and the drying conditions. These different drying behaviors were related to specific skin formation mechanisms at droplet air-liquid interface and consequent responses of the protein material to internal stresses. In this work, we aimed at understanding how the different physico-chemical properties of whey proteins (rigid globular shape) and casein micelles (deformable sponge-like structure) affect the mechanisms of formation of such a skin, and from this the particle final shape. However, the full understanding of the drying process of biocolloids is far to be achieved and, notably, the impact of solute properties on the morphological characteristics of the evaporating droplets, such as colloid segregation, skin formation and crack pattern development is not elucidated yet. To this aim, the use of model colloidal solutions, whose rheological behavior is more easily deducible, could represent a significant boost. Consequently, we compared the drying of droplets of whey proteins and casein micelles to that of dispersions of silica particles and polymer-coated silica particles, respectively. The mechanical behavior of such biological colloids and model silica dispersions was investigated through the analysis of crack formation, and the measurements of their mechanical properties using indentation testing. The study reveals numerous analogies between dairy and corresponding model systems, thus confirming these latter as powerful tools to highlight the signature of the matter on the drying process and at the molecular scale. The outcomes presented in this work represent a first step to shed light on the physics of drying dairy droplets; they open the road to further investigation about mixes of milk proteins. Moreover, the observation of mixtures of dairy colloids would contribute to improve the knowledge about the evaporation of colloidal polydisperse systems, which represents a current scientific challenge.
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hal-02737873 , version 1 (02-06-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02737873 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 488625


Cécile Le Floch-Fouéré, Luca Lanotte, Françoise Boissel, Ludovic Pauchard, Romain Jeantet. Mechanisms of drying-induced particle formation in solutions of dairy proteins:a multiscale approach. Workshops – CECAM, Oct 2019, Lausanne, Switzerland. ⟨hal-02737873⟩
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