Why do Fermented Milk Products Stick to Packaging Material Surfaces?

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi


Today approximately 10 % of fermented milk products stick to the packaging material inner surface, and therefore it is not possible to pour all of the dairy product from the package. This is both an economical and environmental issue. The product loss is expensive for consumer and makes recycling of package less effective. As they do not yet exist the development of packaging materials to which fermented milk products stick less, it would make it possible to both save money and protect our environment.

The aim of this work was to provide knowledge and understanding of the important factors involved in the phenomenon when fermented milk products adhere to the inner surface of a packaging material. Studies were done on materials having different surface properties, such as polarity and relative oxidation. They were incubated in fermented milk and other dairy products varying in fat concentration and protein type up to 168 h. The systems were investigated gravimetrically, with Fourier Transform Infra Red/Attenuated Total Reflectance Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Contact Angle measurements.

Fermented milk contains amphiphilic components and therefore can interact both with polar and non-polar surfaces, such that the relative oxidation of the surface does not contribute to the adhesion. The adhesion of fermented milk is an equilibrium reaction, which depend on the fat concentration before equilibrium as well as the protein concentration after equilibrium. The adhesion seems to follows the Vroman effect, with smaller molecules associating faster and thereby adhering to the surface initially, but are displaced by larger molecules that associates slower as times passes.

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