Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Prateek Sharma


Prateek Sharma


Silvana Martini


Luis Bastarrachea


Milk protein concentrate (MPC) and isolate (MPI), and milk permeate powder (MPP) are functional dairy powder products that are used in food applications worldwide. It is critical that environmental factors and physical powder characteristics during production and storage are controlled. When dairy powders are exposed to non-ideal conditions (high moisture, varying temperatures,) they can quickly become very sticky, and clumpy. When powders become sticky, their ability to easily flow is reduced. As a result, processing and storing the powders effectively and sustainably becomes very difficult.

In the first study, an analysis method was created to test the general flow behavior of different milk powder samples with a powder rheometer. It was discovered that the shape and size of the powder particles plays a large role in how the flowability of these powders is recorded.

In the second study, the powder samples were modified with different environmental factors, moisture and temperature to determine if these changes would affect the overall flowability of the powder samples. Increased moisture reduced the overall flowability of the powders. Temperature variation had no significant impact on the flowability of the powders. The particle size in relation to flowability was also analyzed to see if different particle sizes made powder flow more easily. It was discovered that the smallest size particles (< 50 μm) were the most cohesive (or least flowable) in nature.

The third study examined the impact of storage time (12 months) and temperature in relation to the powder’s flowability. The color of the powder was also analyzed to see if the color changed over time in response to different temperatures. It was discovered that in general, each of the powder samples kept the same level of flowability at month 12 compared to the powder samples at the beginning of the study. From the color study, MPI 85 low lactose powder was discovered to have the highest amount of color change from a light, white powder to a darker, yellowish powder. This change in color occurred because the powder sample contained several types of sugar that tend to turn a product brown when exposed to heat for extended periods of time.