The role of interfacial protein in determining the heat stability of recombined milk was investigated by removing serum protein prior to homogenization and reincorporating it after homogenization. In addition, the surface protein composition of recombined fat globules was probed by analyses of protein load and by quantification of the individual surface protein components using FPLC. In the absence of serum protein, substantially more casein was bound to the fat surface during homogenization. Despite this, the detrimental effect of homogenization on heat stability did not occur when serum protein had been removed from the system. Reincorporation of serum protein after homogenization caused the heat coagulation time–pH profile to revert to a form very similar to that observed without removing serum protein from the system. Thus, adsorption of serum protein did not affect heat stability. It is more likely that heat-induced interactions of serum protein with surface-adsorbed casein promoted heat coagulation. Fat surface area rather than casein load affected these interfacial protein-protein interactions during heating.