PROCALCIUM – Calcium dynamics during manufacturing of cheese

Calcium is an important nutrient, but also contributes to the texture, taste and functionality of most dairy products. This project focuses on creating new insights regarding the content and status of calcium in colloidal and serum phases during manufacturing of added value dairy products, such as cheese. 

By: Grith Mortensen

Process steps like milk preconditioning, up concentration, acidification, salting, cooling and heating, all change the distribution of calcium between the serum and colloidal phase, but a kinetic description of calcium distribution is basically lacking.

The hypothesis of this project is that understanding of the dynamics of calcium distribution and quantification of the kinetics will support the manufacturing of added value products with improved functionality and contribute to optimization of the dairy processes by reducing product losses. The results of the project will be demonstrated to improve cheese yield and tailor the functionality of cheeses, such as strechability and melting. Advanced chemical and in-situ structure characterization methods will be used.

Project period: June 2020 - December 2022

Budget: 3.245.000 DKK

Financing: Milk Levy Fund, Arla Foods

Project manager: Lilia Arhné

Institution: Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen 

Participants: Arla Foods


Publications and presentations

Initial article published in Mælkeritidende:

Mælkeritidende 2022 No. 2


Barone, G., Yazdi, S. R., Lillevang, S. K., & Ahrné, L. Calcium: A comprehensive review on quantification, interaction with milk proteins and implications for processing of dairy products. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2021; 20: 5616– 5640.

Jiang, Yuan & Barone, Giovanni & Rauh, Valentin & Lillevang, Søren & Skibsted, Leif & Ahrné, Lilia. (2022). Temperature effects on calcium partition kinetics in pasteurised skim milk during storage. International Dairy Journal.


The results originating from the project will be published on this page when they become publicly available.

Grith Mælk 1

Grith Mortensen

Chefkonsulent, Branchesekretariat mejeri, Landbrug & Fødevarer/Skejby

Mobil: 40964114