Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #427200

Research Project: Microstructured and Health-Functionalized Food Proteins (Bridge Project)

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

2017 Annual Report


Objectives
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. Develop plant cell wall polysaccharide-based bioplastic composites with tailor-designed thermal, mechanical and biological properties for active packaging, construction and automotive materials. Convert plant cell wall polysaccharides into biomedical materials for tissue regeneration, cosmetic personal care products, carriers of bioactive substances for the colon-specific delivery and to produce synbiotics (probiotic + prebiotic). a. Develop regeneration medicine and drug delivery biomedical products b. Develop skin-care biomedical products


Approach
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.


Progress Report
Progress was made on all objectives, all of which fall under National Program 306 which seeks to develop higher quality healthy foods; in particular, Problem Statement 1B: New Bioactive Ingredients and Functional Foods. Preliminary research for the upcoming project entitled “In Vitro Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem: Effects of Diet” was conducted. We were able to construct a stable gut microbiota community in vitro using the SHIME apparatus and fecal samples from healthy donors. The compositions of the gut microbiota particular to the ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon were evaluated by 16S rRNA sequencing, and the amounts of short chain fatty acids were determined by GC/MS. The in vitro gut microbiota community thus established can last for 5 weeks after entering a steady state. Research continued on electrospinning to develop fibrous mats from various edible biopolymers incorporated with or without functional substances, such as the antioxidant, tannin. In one study, a mat incorporated with tannin inhibited the oxidation of food-grade oil, and thus prolonged the shelf-life of the oil, compared to the control. We have also found that guar gum, an electrospinnable edible biopolymer, may be used as a carrier, instead of pullulan used in our previous studies, for making fine fibers and fibrous mats from proteins and branched polysaccharides. Research on developing nanofibers embedded with Adeno-Associate Virus (AAV) as a delivery vehicle for gene therapy was initiated. It was found that in the presence of selective polymers and after exposure to a 30KV electric field, AAV was able to retain its activity for membrane trafficking and infection.


Accomplishments


Review Publications
Wang, Q., Dong, B., Pokiniewski, K.A., Firrman, J., Wu, Z., Chin, M.P., Chen, X., Liu, L.S., Xu, R., Diao, Y., Xiao, W. 2017. Syngeneic AAV pseudo-particles potentiate gene transduction of AAV vectors. Molecular Therapy. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2016.12.004. PMCID: PMC5363323.
Firrman, J., Liu, L.S., Zhang, L., Argoty, G., Wang, M., Tomasula, P.M., Kobori, M., Pontious, S., Xiao, W. 2016. The effect of quercetin on genetic expression of the commensal gut microbes bifidobacterium catenulatum, enterococcus caccae and ruminococcus gauvreauii. Anaerobe. 42:130-141. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2016.10.004. PMID:27742572.
Shahrin, T., Sarker, M.I., Zheng, Y., Tomasula, P.M., Liu, L.S. 2016. Impact of different environmental stimuli on the release of 1-MCP from boron-MCP complexes. Journal of Plant Studies. 6:46-57. doi: 10.5539/jps.v6n1p46.
Li, R., Liu, Z., Tomasula, P.M., Sousa, A.M., Liou, S., Tunick, M.H., Liu, L.S. 2017. Electrospinning pullulan fibers from salt solutions. Polymers. doi: 10.3390/polym9010032.
Yang, W., Sousa, A., Fan, X., Jin, Z.T., Li, X., Tomasula, P.M., Liu, L.S. 2016. Electrospun ultra-fine cellulose acetate fibrous mats containing tannic acid-Fe+++ complexes. Carbohydrate Polymers. 157:1173-1179. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.10.078.
Yang, W., Sousa, A.M., Thomas-Gahring, A.E., Fan, X., Jin, Z.T., Li, X., Tomasula, P.M., Liu, L.S. 2016. Electrospun polymer nanofibers reinforced by tannic acid/Fe+++ complexes. Materials. 9(757):1-12. doi: 10.3390/ma9090757.
Wang, Q., Firrman, J., Wu, Z., Pokiniewski, K.A., Valencia, C.A., Wang, H., Wei, H., Zhuang, Z., Liu, L.S., Wunder, S.L., Chin, M.S., Xu, R., Diao, Y., Dong, B., Xiao, W. 2016. High density recombinant AAV particles are competent vectors for in vivo transduction. Human Gene Therapy. doi: 10.1089/hum.2016.055. PMID: 27550145.
Liu, W., Liu, T., Guo, X., Xin, J., Zhang, J., Liu, L.S. 2016. Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) and sunflower head residue composites: Effects of composition and compatibilization on properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 134(3):44644-44651.
Lashkari, E., Wang, H., Liu, L.S., Li, J., Yam, K. 2016. Innovative application of metal-organic frameworks for encapsulation and controlled release of allyl isothiocyanate. Food Chemistry. 221:926-935.
Liu, W., Liu, T., Liu, T., Liu, T., Xin, J., Hiscox, W.C., Liu, H., Liu, L.S., Zhang, J. 2017. Improving grafting efficiency of dicarboxylic anhydride monomer on polylactic acid by manipulating monomer structure and using comonomer and reducing agent. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 56:3920-3927. doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.6b05051.
Yang, W., Sousa, A.M., Li, X., Tomasula, P.M., Liu, L.S. 2017. Electrospinning of guar gum/corn starch blends. SOJ Materials Science and Engineering. 4(1):1-7. doi: 10.15226/sojmse.2016.00129.