Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 11, Issue 7, pp 1402–1411 | Cite as

Quality Assurance of Model Infant Milk Formula Using a Front-Face Fluorescence Process Analytical Tool

  • Lisa E. Henihan
  • Colm P. O’Donnell
  • Carlos Esquerre
  • Eoin G. Murphy
  • Donal J. O’Callaghan
Original Paper


Front-face fluorescence spectroscopy (FFFS) was evaluated as a quality assurance process analytical technology (PAT) tool for infant milk formula (IMF) manufacture. Batches of first-stage IMF (60:40 whey protein:casein ratio) powder were produced with protein:fat:lactose ratios of 1.3:3.6:7.3, differing only in heat treatment applied prior to spray drying (72, 95, or 115 °C for 15 s). Each IMF powder was stored at 15 ± 2 °C and 37 ± 2 °C and analyzed at months 0, 3, 6, and 12. Partial least squares (PLS) models were developed for IMF in both powder and liquid states using FFFS spectra to predict pre-drying heat treatment temperature, soluble protein content, and storage time. Models developed using tryptophan emission spectra for IMF powder predicted storage time, pre-drying heat treatment temperature, and soluble protein content with RMSECV values of 0.3 months, 8.3 °C, and 1.01 g protein/100 g powder, respectively. IMF powders were rehydrated to 13% total solids and analyzed using the vitamin A emission spectra. Models developed for rehydrated IMF predicted storage time and pre-drying heat treatment temperature with RMSECV values of 1.5 months and 6.7 °C, respectively. Surface free fats were predicted with an RMSECV range of 0.12–0.20% (w/w of powder) in rehydrated IMF. PLS discriminant analysis models developed for both powder and liquid IMF samples successfully discriminated for storage temperature. This preliminary study demonstrates the strong potential of FFFS as a PAT tool for IMF quality assurance.


Front-face fluorescence spectroscopy Process analytical technology Chemometrics Infant milk formula Tryptophan Surface free fat 



We thank Mr. Andrea Badellino from School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland for his technical assistance with experimental work.

Funding Information

This research receive funding from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine through its Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) initiative (project 11/F/052).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa E. Henihan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Colm P. O’Donnell
    • 2
  • Carlos Esquerre
    • 2
  • Eoin G. Murphy
    • 1
  • Donal J. O’Callaghan
    • 1
  1. 1.Food Chemistry and Technology DepartmentTeagasc Food Research CentreFermoyIreland
  2. 2.School of Biosystems and Food EngineeringUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

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