Bovine colostrum whey: Postpartum changes of particle size distribution and immunoglobulin G concentration at different filtration pore sizes
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Bovine colostrum, as vital as it is for calves, is also a valuable source of functional components with rich health benefits for humans. Bovine colostrum whey consists of a large number of bioactive proteins and peptides. The most abundant of these is IgG. Particle size distribution (PSD) is an important feature of many of the processes in the dairy food industries. Despite this, scientific literature on PSD of colostrum whey is scarce. The goal of this research was to describe bovine colostrum whey PSD with an emphasis on postpartum milking time, filtration (pore size 450, 100, and 20 nm), IgG concentration, and lactation number. For this purpose, 4 postpartum milking colostrum samples were sequentially milked from 46 Holstein cows at 12 ± 1 h intervals. Colostrum whey was prepared by renneting and diluted (1:200) for PSD analyses by a Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS (Malvern Instruments Ltd., Malvern, UK). Immunoglobulin G concentration of these diluted colostrum whey samples were analyzed by an Octet K2 (Molecular Devices LLC, San Jose, CA) system. Linear mixed model analysis revealed significant effects of filter pore size, postpartum milking, and lactation on colostrum whey IgG concentrations. The percentage of particles in the size interval 5 to 15 nm (the hydrodynamic diameter of IgG is around 10 nm) had an intermediate positive correlation (r = 0.50) with IgG concentration. Furthermore, we showed that PSD was associated with IgG concentration, postpartum milking time, and lactation number. The PSD measurement results showed the mean hydrodynamic diameter of 100 nm pore size filtered colostrum whey to be around 10 nm. This, with the IgG concentration results, suggests that even though the size of IgG is around 10 nm, a 100 nm pore size is adequate for membrane-involved IgG separations. In terms of energy efficiency of the filtration process, the use of a larger filter pore size can make a remarkable difference, for example, in pressurizing and cooling costs. Our work contributes to the development of sustainable and widely available colostrum-derived food and feed supplements.