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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

2011 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
To develop microstructured and health-functionalized proteins, it was necessary to establish effective shear texturization zones for the new IKA Process-Pilot 2000/4 high shear homogenizer. For screening purposes, factorial experiments were conducted to determine the effect of shear on protein alone, starch alone, and protein and starch combined (50/50), using two quick assays, particle size analysis and spectrophotometry. The process conditions considered were: concentration (1 to 10%), speed (50 to 100 Hz), temperature (35, 50, 60 C), and pH (5, 7, 9). Also, we are analyzing the products created using scanning electron microscopy and FTIR spectroscopy. When completed, the full study will encompass sequential or logical combinations of the following variables:.
1)Protein/carbohydrate ratio,.
2)Temperature,.
3)pH,.
4)sharing speed, and.
5)Solvents. Solubility, chemical assay in various solvents, water, presence of detergent and reducing agent will be determined. Protein quality indicators such as S-S, amino acid availability, and others are being monitored with FTIR and solid-state fluorescence as quick diagnostic tools to assess the effect of shearing on proteins. Furthermore, we will determine particle size, rheology, and RVA pasting properties. This project addresses NP 306 Research Component 1, Problem Statement 1D (New and Improved Food Processing).


4.Accomplishments
1. Instant Corn Soy Blend: The uncooked Corn Soy Blend (CSB) meals have had many spoilage problems ranging from off-flavors (products going stale due to rancid fats), segregation of particles which intensifies malnutrition (vitamins and mineral settling to the bottom of the bag), and off colors (as vitamins and iron react with starch, protein, and fat under high temperatures in tropical countries), just to name a few. ARS researchers at Wyndmoor, PA, developed a ready-to-eat version of the CSB meal using the extrusion process and/or other texturization technologies. The resulting instant CSB (ICSB) is fully cooked and finely textured, showing optimal paste properties even with tepid or even ambient temperature potable water. The products have sufficiently low moisture content to ensure one year shelf-life similar to snack products. The serving size (USDA/USAID) guideline calls for 100 g/370 calories. The consistency of the meals, either 'gruel-like' or thick paste depends on the amount of water added. For infants, more water can be added to make gruel. The ICSB distribution commenced in Haiti in July 2011, where 20 metric tons have been shipped; the ICSB is feeding thousands of children, nursing mothers, and whole communities. The ICSB is saving lives and the environment.


Review Publications
Onwulata, C.I., Tunick, M.H., Qi, P.X. 2011. Extrusion texturized dairy proteins: processing and application. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. 62:173-200.

Qi, P.X., Onwulata, C.I. 2011. Physical properties, molecular structures and protein quality of texturized whey protein isolate: effect of extrusion moisture content. Journal of Dairy Science. 94:2231-2244.

Qi, P.X., Onwulata, C.I. 2011. Physical properties, molecular structures and protein quality of texturized whey protein isolate: effect of extrusion temperature. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59:4668-4675.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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