Effects of non-thermal processing on protein functionality
Proteins are one of the most important food components since they can have a major impact on nutritional and sensorial properties. Therefore, it is of great interest to investigate the changes that may occur to proteins during processing. Previous research has shown that thermal processing can have a detrimental effect on the colour and flavour of food, as well as seriously affect protein functionality.
Recently, alternative non-thermal processes such as irradiation, ultrasound, pulsed-electric field have been studied as they may have lower processing time, energy consumption and milder impact on the products. These treatments still affect protein structure and properties; however, they do enable various changes such as hydrophobic group exposure, unfolding, aggregation and new bond formation. These modifications may not only affect the physicochemical properties, but also the health-related aspects of proteins such as amino acid composition, allergenicity levels and many more.
This research, in which AQUABIOPRO-FIT participated, has studied in detail the effects of ultrasound, high pressure, cold plasma, irradiation, and PEF in relation to surface hydrophobicity, structure, particle size, solubility, emulsification properties, and allergen reduction of the proteins, as well as the impact on amino acids. The review gives insights on the potential and the barriers of these technologies on food applications and highlights the need for further investigation to fully understand the impact and changes induced by new and innovative processing methods.
AQUABIOPRO-FIT partner, University of Valencia contributed to this research on identifying the advantages and challenges of new processing methods on the proteins and amino acids. The full article can be found here: Esteghlal (2019) Bridging the Knowledge Gap for the Impact of Non-Thermal Processing on Proteins and Amino Acids
Relative project terms
Clinical tests , Communication , Fish by-product bioactives , Marine elixir development , Model studies - documentation , Training , Tunicates
Category: Scientific activities