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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2009 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
After extraction and characterization of the acid and alkaline soluble polysaccharides from sugar beet pulp, the remaining insoluble residue was imaged by atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM revealed long fibrous structures comparable to potato cell wall fragments previously identified as cellulose. Treating the insoluble residue with monochloroacetate under basic conditions produced a soluble polysaccharide. The solubilized material is undergoing further characterization. To date, we demonstrated that three valuable polysaccharides can be sequentially extracted from sugar beet pulp. A joint US State Department and USDA grant funded the Tajikistan Academy of Sciences, Chemistry Institute to extract pectin from orange peel, apple pomace and sunflower seed casings using our flash extraction technology. This research could lead to an export industry of agricultural products derived from crops grown in Tajikistan, which would provide a new source of income for a cash-strapped former Soviet Union country.

We prepared a series of hydrogel microparticles from pectin/zein and pectin/whey protein, and evaluated their physical, chemical, and biological activity in vivo with scientists in Tajikistan. The resultant pectin/protein hydrogels are enzyme-sensitive. The study on plant polysaccharides (PPS) derived matrices for personal care applications is in progress with the collaboration of scientists in Rutgers University. We are investigating composite nanostructures from PPS and nanoclay for nano-encapsulation applications. The thermal conductivity of porous composite membranes fabricated by co-extrusion of PPS with poly (lactic acid), a biomass-derived thermoplastic, and pore forming reagents, was adjusted by altering its composition and structure. Selective biologically-active substances and plasticizers were also co-incorporated into mixtures of poly(lactic acid) and PPS during the extrusion process. The membranes obtained were antimicrobial and possessed the tensile strength similar to conventional thermoplastics. The membranes can be used as active packaging materials. Finally, composite materials containing 70% sugar beet pulp and 30% poly(lactic acid) were extruded in the presence of chemical cross-linkers. The mechanical properties of the resultant materials are similar to poly(lactic acid), but the reproducibility needs to be improved. To date, citrus arabino-oligosaccharide-rich pectic oligosaccharides had the best in-vitro prebiotic activity. A patent application was filed on the oligosaccharide structure and prebiotic activity. A Swiss company has commercially produced the citrus arabino-oligosaccharide-rich pectic oligosaccharides. We need to obtain 20 kg of this product for in vivo analysis. The Swiss company currently has an exclusivity agreement with a German company. The cost of this product is too high, prohibiting its use as a functional feed or food ingredient. An Italian orange juice company and CRADA partner has produced lower cost arabino-oligosaccharide-rich pectic oligosaccharide samples, but they only have limited in vitro prebiotic activity.

1. New antimicrobial packaging materials made from crop processing residues. New uses for biobased products are needed to better utilize abundant crop processing residues and reduce our dependence on foreign petroleum. Antimicrobial packaging materials were developed from citrus processing residues. Pectin/polylactic acid films possess the mechanical properties similar to those of petroleum-derived thermoplastics, plus they can absorb antimicrobial agents and control their release, serving as an active barrier for the inhibition of growth of all classes of bacterial pathogens. In comparison with other methods, the present patented method is simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly (no organic solvents), and can be easily scaled up. These new packaging materials are green biobased products that can replace petroleum-based products.

2. New bioactive food ingredients found in orange peel. New uses of abundant agricultural residues in the U.S. could improve the economic bottom line of many food processing operations. The structure in pectic fragments isolated from orange peel with activity to selectively stimulate the growth of friendly, health-promoting gut bacteria, was demonstrated to consist of arabinose chains. This patented structure can be used by food and feed processors and bioactive food ingredient companies to enrich for these "good" carbohydrates, which have potential to improve health, stimulate the immune system and prevent chronic diseases such as ulcerative colitis, colon cancer and obesity. If orange peel pectic fragments can be commercialized as a bioactive food ingredient, then they will significantly upgrade the value of residues produced from orange juice processing.

6.Technology Transfer

Number of Active CRADAs2
Number of Invention Disclosures Submitted1

Review Publications
Hotchkiss, A.T., Liu, L.S., Call, J.E., Cooke, P.H., Luchansky, J.B., Rastall, R.A. 2008. Synbiotic matrices derived from plant oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. In N. Parris, L. Liu, C. Song and P. Shastri (eds.), New Delivery Systems for Controlled Drug Release from Naturally-Occurring Materials, American Chemical Society Symposium Series, Washington, DC. pp.69-77.

Fishman, M., Chau, H.K., Cooke, P.H., Yadav, M.P., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2009. Physico-chemical characterization of alkaline soluble polysaccharides from sugar beet pulp. Food Hydrocolloids. 23:1554-1562.

Liang, S., Liu, L.S., Huang, Q., Yan, K.L. 2009. Unique rheological behavior of chitosan modified nanoclay at highly hydrated state. Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 113(17):5823-5828.

Liang, S., Liu, L.S., Huang, Q., Yam, K.L. 2009. Preparation of single or double-network chitosan/poly(vinyl alcohol) gel films through selective cross-linking method. Carbohydrate Polymers. 77:718-724.

Yoo, S., Lee, B., Savary, B., Lee, S., Lee, H.G., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2009. Characteristics of enzymatically-deesterified pectin gels produced in the presence of monovalent ionic salts. Food Hydrocolloids 23. p.1926-1929.

Rhoads, J., Manderson, K., Hotchkiss, A.T., Gibson, G.R., Formentin, K., Beer, M., Rastall, R.A. 2008. Pectic oligosaccharide mediated inhibition of the adhesion of pathogenic escherichia coli strains to human gut culture cells. Journal of Food Protection 71:2272-2277.

Hotchkiss, A.T., Rastall, R., Gibson, G., Eliaz, I., Liu, L.S., Fishman, M. 2009. New bioactive and biobased product applications of pectin. Book Chapter In: Schols, H.A., Visser, R.G.F., Voragen, A.G.J., editors. Pectins and Pectinases. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publisher. p. 305-312.

Chen, F., Liu, L.S., Cooke, P., Hicks, K.B., Zhang, J. 2008. Performance enhancement of a Poly(lactic acid) and sugar beet pulp composites by improving interfacial adhesion and penetration. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemical Research. 47:8667-8675.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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