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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: VALUABLE POLYSACCHARIDE-BASED PRODUCTS FROM SUGAR BEET PULP AND CITRUS PEEL
2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The overall objective is to create more demand for the processing residues from sugar beets and citrus fruits by developing new valuable products and processes for their efficient and sustainable conversion into high quality food and non-food products.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
(1)Prepare and evaluate new enzyme systems as tools to better understand and manipulate plant cell wall polysaccharide structure and function..
2)Extract by chemical and/or enzymatic means, isolate and characterize cell wall polysaccharides to determine molecular structure and physical properties in by-products of sugar beet and citrus processing for potential value added products..
3)Design new, value-added personal care, biomedical and industrial products from cell wall polysaccharides in by-products of sugar beet and citrus processing..
4)Develop novel, value added biodegradable engineering materials by utilizing state-of-the-art extrusion processing..
5)Produce new prebiotic functional food and animal feed ingredients from citrus and sugar beet processing by-products.


3.Progress Report
Research on sugar beet plant cell wall polysaccharide characterization to determine their potential as value-added products is reported as an accomplishment.

Research is continuing on the development of polymeric membranes for the use in nerve regeneration (CRADA #58-3K95-4-1042). In collaboration with Rutgers University scientists, we are developing nano-encapsulation structures from polysaccharides. We addressed current problems of plant polysaccharide-derived porous structures and smart hydrogels (mechanical properties, water stability, pH sensibility, thermostability, enzyme sensibility, and biological activity) by altering the composition, as well as improving fabrication methods. For example, pectin/zein hydrogel degradation time in colonic simulations can be controlled from 30 minutes to 10 hours. In another example, the mechanical properties of polylactic acid (PLA)/pectin porous membranes were up/down-regulated by the processing conditions when pectin was incorporated. We continued to evaluate the physical, chemical, and biological activities of pectin/zein hydrogel beads (a type of enzyme-specific hydrogel) in collaboration with scientists in Tajikistan Chemical Institute and Vanderbilt University. A series of polysaccharide/protein-complex hydrogels were developed and we demonstrated for the first time that smart pectin/zein beads could encapsulate a probiotic bacterial protein that was released in the colon following oral-administration in mice. This protein protected the mice from detergent-induced colitis. The results also demonstrated the biocompatibility and non-toxicity of the pectin/zein beads. Salts were used to create pores and were co-extruded with a mixture of pectin, PLA, and antimicrobial agents for active packaging plastic materials. The antimicrobial agent release profiles can be tailored by the amount and the type of the pore creating reagents. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

The active structure of pectic oligosaccharides with prebiotic activity was defined. Using a combination of monosaccharide and glycosyl-linkage analysis, MALDI-TOF MS following graphitized carbon chromatography and HPAEC-PAD analysis, structure/function relationships for pectic oligosaccharides from orange and lemon peel were established for prebiotic activity. Comparisons were drawn with pectic oligosaccharides from sugar beet pulp which did not possess prebiotic activity. Prebiotic hemicellulosic oligosaccharides from orange peel were also characterized. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.


4.Accomplishments
1. New biobased structural materials. New uses for sugar beet pulp (SBP) are needed to better utilize this abundant processing residue, protect our environment, and reduce our dependence on foreign petroleum. Composites were developed from SBP, polylactic acid (PLA), and a small fraction of an EPA-approved, well-known cross-linking agent. The composites possess mechanical properties similar to those of petroleum-derived thermoplastics, plus they are produced at much lower cost and are lighter in density than pure PLA, because a large volume of SBP (>50%) was incorporated. The composites can be used as light weight-bearing materials for construction, and for the production of heat- and/or sound-insulation materials. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

2. New valuable food ingredient. The need to increase utilization of low valued co-products of sugar beet processing prompted us to investigate the structure of alkaline soluble polysaccharides (ASP). ASP was flash extracted from sugar beet pulp (SBP) using ARS technology that shortens the heating time to 10 minutes. Physical characterization revealed that ASP structure is distinct from pectin, but ASP is pectin-associated since it contains some of the pectin backbone. Preliminary studies revealed that ASP may be a better emulsifier in food systems than gum arabic. This new valuable food ingredient will increase the value of sugar beets without increasing the cost of sugar to the consumer. This research is part of the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of New CRADAS1
Number of Active CRADAs2
Number of Invention Disclosures Submitted1
Number of New Patent Applications Filed1
Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings7
Number of Newspaper Articles and Other Presentations for Non-Science Audiences2

Review Publications
Zhao, Z.Y., Liang, L., Fan, X., Yu, Z., Hotchkiss, A.T., Wilk, B.J., Eliaz, I. 2008. The role of modified citrus pectin as a safe and effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 14(4):34-38.

Liu, L.S., Finkenstadt, V.L., Liu, C., Jin, Z.T., Fishman, M., Hicks, K.B. 2007. Preparation of poly(lactic acid) and pectin composite films intended for application in antimicrobial packaging. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 106(2)801-810.

Fishman, M., Chau, H.K., Cooke, P.H., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2008. Global structure of microwave-assisted flash extracted sugar beet pectin. 2008. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 56(4):1471-1478.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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