Abstract

Dairy products play an important role in our daily nutrition. As a turbid scattering medium with different kinds of particles and droplets, each alteration of these components changes the scattering properties of milk. The goal of this work is the determination of the amount of main scattering components, the fat droplets and the casein micelles, by understanding the light propagation in homogenized milk and in raw milk. To provide the absolute impact of these milk components, the geometrical and optical properties such as the size distribution and the refractive index (RI) of the components have to be examined. We determined the reduced scattering coefficient μs' and the absorption coefficient μa from integrating sphere measurements. By use of a collimated transmission setup, the scattering coefficient μs was measured. Size measurements were performed to validate the influence of the fat droplet size on the results of the scattering properties; also, the RI of both components was determined by the said coefficients. These results were used to determine the absolute impact of the milk components on the scattering behavior. By fitting Mie theory calculations on scattering spectra μs and μs' from different raw milk samples, it was possible to get reliable values for the concentrations of fat and casein and for the size of the fat droplets. By destroying the casein micelles, it was possible to separate the influence of the different scattering components on scattering behavior.

© 2016 The Author(s)

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