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Marie Walsh

This lab has two main research focus areas that we apply to dairy ingredients:

  1. Immobilization technologies
  2. Protein chemistry

Within the immobilization technologies, we have conducted the following research:


  1. Immobilized bovine gangliosides for the affinity purification of lactoferrin and transferring from whey.
  2. Immobilized caseins for the affinity purification of the prokaryotic chaperones. The chaperones were then used to refold heat and chemically denatured enzymes.
  3. Immobilized chymosin for the limited proteolysis of casein to increase the whiteness of skim milk.
  4. Immobilized antibodies and gangliosides for the affinity capture of microorganisms (including food pathogens) with detection via specific tertiary antibody or real-time PCR.
  5. Immobilized lipases for the synthesis of lactose esters. We are currently investigating the influence of solvent, enzyme type, and temperature to optimize the synthesis of lactose esters.

Within the area of protein chemistry we have conducted the following research:


  1. Optimizing the extrusion parameters and ingredients for the production of an extruded-expanded whey protein product. This product is similar to puffed snacks but can contain between 5 and 60% whey protein. This technology has been patented and is now being produced commercially.
  2. Optimizing the extrusion parameters and ingredients for the production of an extruded-fibrous whey protein product. This product is intended to be used as a meat analog or meat replacement. This technology has been patented.
  3. We have also investigated the reformulation of the extruded whey products, specifically to replace the cornstarch with a fiber. The replacement of cornstarch with three different dietary fibers at three levels is currently being analyzed.
  4. We are also investigating the functionality of commercially available whey protein concentrates with respect to foaming, gelling, and emulsification properties.

Techniques and Equipment Used in the Walsh Lab includes:

  • High performance liquid chromatography
  • Affinity immobilization of ligands (protein and other molecules)
  • Electrophoresis and Western Blots
  • Spectroscopy
  • Real Time PCR