Redesigning food protein formulations with empirical phase diagrams: A case study on glycerol-poor and glycerol-free formulations

Marieke E. Klijn, Jürgen Hubbuch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Redesigning existing food protein formulations is necessary in situations where food authorities propose dose adjustments or removal of currently employed additives. Redesigning formulations involves evaluating substitute additives to obtain similar long-term physical stability as the original formulation. Such formulation screening experiments benefit from comprehensive data visualization, understanding the effects of substitute additives on long-term physical stability, and identification of short-term optimization targets. This work employs empirical phase diagrams to reach these benefits by combining multidimensional long-term protein physical stability data with short-term empirical protein properties. A case study was performed where multidimensional protein phase diagrams (1152 formulations) allowed for identification of stabilizing effects as a result of pH, methionine, sugars, salt, and minimized glycerol content. Corresponding empirical protein property diagrams (144 formulations) resulted in the identification of normalized surface tension as a short-term empirical protein property to reach long-term physical stability presumably similar to the original product, namely via preferential hydration. Additionally, changes in pH and salt were identified as environmental optimization targets to reach stability via repulsive electrostatic forces. This case study shows the applicability of the empirical phase diagram method to rationally perform formulation redesign screenings, while simultaneously expanding knowledge on protein long-term physical stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108609
JournalFood Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Colloidal stability
  • Conformational stability
  • Empirical phase diagrams
  • Formulation screening
  • Long-term protein stability
  • Multivariate data analysis


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