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Casein micelle structure: a concise review

by Chanokphat Phadungath
Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology ()
  • ISSN: 0009-7322


Milk is a complex biological fluid with high amount of proteins, lipid\nand minerals. The function of milk is to supply nutrients such as\nessential amino acids required for the growth of the newborn. In\naddition, due to the importance of casein and casein micelles for\nthe functional behavior of dairy products, the nature and structure\nof casein micelles have been studied extensively. However, the exact\nstructure of casein micelles is still under debate. Various models\nfor casein micelle structure have been proposed. Most of the proposedmodels\nfall into three general categories, which are: coat-core, subunit\n(sub-micelles), and internal structure models. The coat-core models,\nproposed by Waugh and Nobel in 1965, Payens in 1966, Parry and Carroll\nin 1969, and Paquin and co-workers in 1987, describe the micelle\nas an aggregate of caseins with outer layer differing in composition\nform the interior, and the structure of the inner part is not accurately\nidentified. The sub-micelle models, proposed by Morr in 1967, Slattery\nand Evard in 1973, Schmidt in 1980, Walstra in1984, and Ono and Obata\nin 1989, is considered to be composed of roughly spherical uniform\nsubunits. The last models, the internal structure models, which were\nproposed by Rose in 1969, Garnier and Ribadeau- Dumas in 1970, Holt\nin 1992, and Horne in 1998, specify the mode of aggregation of the\ndifferent caseins.

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