As medical branches have formed opinions about the presence of beta lactoglobulin as the major whey protein found in cow’s milk, it is also present in other mammalian species. This whey protein is widely distributed among mammals and is also found in the form of a small soluble protein both as monomers and dimers, the latter being more influential in ruminant kinds of milk. This bovine milk found in most mammals has been reviewed many times because of its structure, properties, and biological roles.
Unlike the other main whey protein called alpha lactoglobulin, no precise functions have been identified for beta lactoglobulin,but it can be brought forth that this protein binds to several hydrophobic molecules, suggesting its clear role in their transport. These molecules primarily exist as a food source. Due to its abundance and ease of purification, mostly several genetic variants have been probed, but the main ones in the cow are labeled as A and B. Subjected to a wide range of biophysical studies, this protein has been determined to be of direct interest to the food industries since its property can be advantageous or disadvantageous in various ways for dairy products and processing of milk solids.
It is a compactly folded globular protein and is mainly a dimer that is prone to pressure sensitivity. It is thought to transfer passive immunity to the newborn infant to regulate metabolism in the mammary gland. Some of the essential properties are –
- Considered to be the important source of amino acids for neonates.
- Rich in cysteine, which is a crucial BCAA and is thought to be suitable for fuelling muscle growth and structure.
- It binds to small hydrophobic compounds such as vitamin D, retinol, fatty acids, cholesterol, etc. and can be employed as a carrier of these molecules.
- With heat destabilization, it is one of the major proteins responsible for gel-forming characteristics of isolate and concentrates whey protein compounds.
It is also important to consider that beta lactoglobulin can be isolated by several techniques. But only some limited commercial suppliers allow its use as a specific food ingredient. What’s is found at present is that this protein can able to initiate allergy in cow’s milk when being devoid of iron. Scientists have investigated the solution that when it is loaded with iron, the matter gets harmless.
Milk allergy is frequently substituted for lactose intolerance. But with proper consumption and dosages, this protein helps to control incorrect diets, malnutrition, food poisoning, and other health conditions like alpha-lactalbumin supplement. As the PH level lowers, the protein becomes more acidic and further away from its ideal conditions.
Some of the allergic problems that this protein can bring in children is that due to its heat-sensitive nature, and that is why they can only tolerate products containing milk that has been cooked or baked.