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Lactose is commonly crystallized in the presence of whey proteins, forming co-crystals of lactose and proteins. This work hypothesized that flavonoids such as rutin or epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) could be incorporated into the lactose and protein co-crystal structure since flavonoids may interact with both lactose and proteins. The interactions between whey proteins and flavonoids were first studied. Then, lactose-protein solutions were crystallized with and without flavonoids, measuring the kinetic parameters of crystallization and characterizing the resulting crystals. The incorporation of flavonoids in lactose-protein co-crystals depended on the hydrophilic nature of flavonoids. The hydrophilic EGCG was scarcely enclosed in the crystal lattice of lactose and avoided the inclusion of whey proteins in the crystals. In contrast, the less water-soluble rutin interacted with whey proteins and lactose, leading to the formation of co-crystals containing lactose, protein, and a large concentration of rutin (3.468 ± 0.392 mg per 100 mg of crystals).


Yanira I Sánchez-García, Néstor Gutiérrez-Méndez, Linda L Landeros-Martínez, Víctor H Ramos-Sánchez, Raúl Orozco-Mena, Iván Salmerón, Martha Y Leal-Ramos, David R Sepúlveda. Crystallization of Lactose-Protein Solutions in the Presence of Flavonoids. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2022 Mar 02;70(8):2684-2694

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PMID: 35175029

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