Milk is known for its high nutrient content that helps to maintain important body functions. In this regard, bioactive peptides that are encrypted in milk proteins and get released during processing and/or digestion might play a role. These peptides are able to inhibit enzymes, influence cell growth, or target specific receptors. The peptide profile that arises after protein digestion in the jejunum before the absorption into the blood takes place includes these bioactive peptides. The composition of the peptide profile is influenced strongly via processing and a modification in processing might target specific functionalities. Thermal, chemical, biochemical, and physical treatments affect protein digestion mainly by changing the protein structure for example via denaturation or protease actions. Parameters influencing this are external ones, like the matrix of the product, and internal ones, like specific enzyme deficiencies. However, considering all the important aspects that are involved, there might be the possibility in the future to adjust a bioactive function via processing.
Part of the book: Technological Approaches for Novel Applications in Dairy Processing