In the paper, results of the study on the relationship between a structure of milk proteins and some selected functional properties of them were presented and analyzed. Several factors, such as: molecular size, hydrophobicity, charge, and flexibility are important for the functional properties of proteins. Additionally, external factors, such as: temperature, pH, ionic strength, and the presence of other molecules influence these functional properties. A distinct structure of individual proteins is considered the main reason why there are differences in functional properties of the proteins. Functional properties can be modified in several ways, e.g. by the physical, chemical, enzymatic, or genetic modification. Other functional properties may also depend on solubility which is a physical-chemical feature. Proteins can adsorb at oil/water and air/water interfaces, and, thereby, they can lower the surface tension; at the same time, they also change their structure. Good interfacial properties of proteins are attributed both to the specific distribution of clustering hydrophilic and hydrophobic residues into exactingly isolated zones and to the minimum molecular mass of the peptide enabling this distribution. It was stated that there was a relationship between the α-helical adsorption-induced structure on the hydrophobic surface and the emulsion forming ability of peptides. Advanced statistical methods become more and more popular and they are used to describe the structure-function relationships of proteins. The knowledge of molecular basis of proteins solubility, and foam/emulsion forming/stabilizing abilities is fundamental for the purpose of studying the milk proteins applications in food with required and design properties.
emulsion, foam, milk proteins, solubility, statistical models, structure