Iron-binding by Milk Mineral--A Possible Antioxidant and Anti-microbial Mechanism

Principal Investigators: Dr. Daren Cornforth, Utah State University

Project Summary:

Milk mineral (MM), the dried mineral fraction from whey, is a good calcium source, and has powerful antioxidant properties in cooked ground meats.  Recent studies show that MM also prevents browning in raw ground beef. To receive acceptance for MM as a food ingredient, further studies are needed on antioxidant mechanism, possible anti-microbial effects, and sensory evaluation of products with added MM. Our hypothesis is that MM tightly binds trace levels of iron, preventing iron-stimulated rancidity, browning, and microbial growth in meat products.  Demand for MM and related dairy products (nonfat dry milk) will increase as a result of a better understanding of MM properties. 


Allen K, Cornforth DP. 2006. Myoglobin oxidation in a model system as affected by non-heme iron and iron chelating agents. J Agric Food Chem. 54:10134-10140.

Allen K, Cornforth DP. 2007. Antioxidant mechanism of milk mineral – High affinity iron binding. J Food Sci. 72:C78-C83.



Published Abstract:



Cornforth, D. 2009. Iron-Binding b Milk Mineral. Western Dairy Center Annual Meeting. May 6, Utah State University, Logan.