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Enzymes Beyond Traditional Applications in Dairy Science and Technology
2023, 57-75

Effect of high-pressure processing on milk enzymes

Laxmana Naik1, Kiran Lata2, Rajan Sharma3

Southern Regional Station, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.


High-pressure processing (HPP) has emerged as one the most innovative technologies for food processing in recent times. HPP allows gentle preservation of food by the application of high pressure without the use of additives. Although HPP of milk causes changes in the casein micelles’ structure, including the distribution of minerals, other components of milk are not much affected. There has been an interest to correlate the indigenous milk enzyme inactivation with the extent of HPP applied to milk to make it safe from microbial point of view. Studies indicated that HPP alone is not sufficient to inactivate the enzymes and milk enzymes vary in their sensitivity when HPP is applied in combination with temperature. However, to designate an appropriate enzyme-based indicator for verifying the efficacy of HPP is still elusive and more studies are required. Milk is a perishable commodity; it deteriorates rapidly during storage. Milk contains approximately 70 indigenous enzymes; selective exogenous enzymes are being added to milk and dairy products to induce the specific changes. However, many enzymes have been linked to be associated with undesirable biochemical changes and it may deteriorate the quality. Therefore, like all other food, milk needs to be processed to ensure the safety and extend the shelf life. Among the alternative processing techniques, HPP has increasingly being acknowledged as unit operation in food processing and HPP has gained momentum as a processing technique for milk. The mechanism of milk enzyme inactivation by HPP is similar to the protein denaturation; applied pressure inactivates the enzyme due to the structural alteration in the active site. Generally, most of the milk enzymes vary in their sensitivity to high pressure; combination of HPP with mild thermal treatment has proven to be more effective.

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