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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Microstructured and Health-Functionalized Food Proteins

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop functionalized healthy food protein ingredients using micro-texturing and microstructuring processes such as microparticulation, micro-shear, and extrusion texturization processes for producing texture-induced or enhanced physical modifications with ex/in vivo functionality.

Develop protein-based food models with enhanced nutrients using functionalized healthy food protein ingredients developed by improving structure-function interactions of food matrices using the encapsulatory properties of functionalized healthy protein.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Advance our work on texturization of whey proteins, transitioning into functionalizing proteins for delivering maximal nutrient levels for improved health functions. This project on microstructured and health-functional food proteins will create new food protein-based structures boosted with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients using shear texturization and microparticulation techniques. The nutrient-enriched products will be used for protected-delivery of micronutrients aimed at conveying health-enhancing functions such as increased satiety and appetite control, helping to alleviate obesity. The outcome of these efforts will be new functionalized structured products with specific nutrient delivery functions that boost the quality of processed foods, delivering health and wellness, thereby making processed foods more wholesome.


3.Progress Report:
Research is ongoing to modify milk proteins using naturally occurring food-grade or pharmaceutical grade materials to improve their functional properties. Properties such as the heat resistance and binding properties of the milk proteins to fat-soluble vitamins including A, D & E to meet age-specific nutritional needs will be determined using instrumental analysis.


Review Publications
Onwulata, C.I. 2011. Encapsulation of new active ingredients. Annual Review of Food Science & Technology. 3:183-202.

Onwulata, C.I. 2012. Microencapsulation and functional bioactive foods. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation Research. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-4549.2012.00680.x.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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