Casein micelle structure : a concise review
- ISSN: 0009-7322
Milk is a complex biological fluid with high amount of proteins, lipid and minerals. The function of milk is to supply nutrients such as essential amino acids required for the growth of the newborn. In addition, due to the importance of casein and casein micelles for the functional behavior of dairy products, the nature and structure of casein micelles have been studied extensively. However, the exact structure of casein micelles is still under debate. Various models for casein micelle structure have been proposed. Most of the proposed models fall into three general categories, which are: coat-core, subunit (sub-micelles), and internal structure models. The coat-core models, proposed by Waugh and Nobel in 1965, Payens in 1966, Parry and Carroll in 1969, and Paquin and co-workers in 1987, describe the micelle as an aggregate of caseins with outer layer differing in composition form the interior, and the structure of the inner part is not accurately identified. The sub-micelle models, proposed by Morr in 1967, Slattery and Evard in 1973, Schmidt in 1980, Walstra in 1984, and Ono and Obata in 1989, is considered to be composed of roughly spherical uniform subunits. The last models, the internal structure models, which were proposed by Rose in 1969, Garnier and Ribadeau- Dumas in 1970, Holt in 1992, and Horne in 1998, specify the mode of aggregation of the different caseins.