Alice Marciniak

Alice Marciniak

Isolation of milk vesicles from processed dairy sources and wastes, characterization and study of potential bioactivities

Alice Marciniak, student, Laval University (Canada)
Rafael Jimenez Flores, faculty mentor


  • Hometown: Lille, France
  • Degrees received: Bachelor of Science in food biochemistry and Master of Science in food science and nutrition, Lille University, Lille, France; PhD in food science and technology, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada

What is the issue or problem addresses in your research?

Consumption of dairy products in the United States has been experiencing a decreasing trend. Therefore, dairy industries are focused on the isolation of high value components from their by-products to enhance their valorization. Among highly valuable fractions, milk vesicles, long time considered as a by-product of milk synthesis, are of great interest due to their potential bioactive benefits as well as phospholipids and protein composition. However, their stability through processing is not well known.

What methodology did you use in your research?

In this study, milk vesicles from milk and other dairy side streams (buttermilk and cheese whey) are isolated using gentle processing (microfiltration). Their physico-chemical properties will be characterized using chromatography (liquid and solid) and electrophoresis. Milk vesicles stability and bioactivities after different processing (e.g. pasteurization, churning, renneting) will be assed through resistance to gastro-intestinal tract, adsorption to intestinal cell and inflammation.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

The study will fill the void of information regarding many underutilized ingredients and by-products of the dairy industry, such as buttermilk and whey. This project also directly addresses many aspects of sustainability for the dairy industry by providing alternative procedures to utilize waste streams with the potential of extracting or concentrating valuable components found in milk.