Fouling on the heat exchanger surface during food processing has been researched extensively due to its great importance in energy efficiency, product quality and food safety. The nature of heat exchanger surface has an effect on the initial deposition behavior and deposit removal behavior to some degree. Protein adsorption on surface is considered to be the initial stage in fouling. In the current study, protein 'pre-adsorption' at room temperature on stainless steel has been investigated as a means to influence the behavior of protein fouling at pasteurization temperatures. Pre-adsorption was carried out with whey protein concentrate (WPC) and ovalbumin (OVA), respectively, which reduced the fouling of OVA (~20-30% energy saving in the processing time examined). However, the pre-adsorption had little effect on fouling of whey protein concentrate. Contact angles were measured to show the surface change due to protein pre-adsorption. Protein pre-adsorption made the surfaces more hydrophilic.