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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #428723

Research Project: Improved Utilization of Low-Value Oilseed Press Cakes and Pulses for Health-Promoting Food Ingredients and Biobased Products

Location: Functional Foods Research

Project Number: 5010-41000-168-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 4, 2015
End Date: May 3, 2020

Objective:
Objective 1: Enable new commercial processes for separating, concentrating, isolating, modifying, and improving functional components of oilseed press cakes and pulses alone and with other components for viable food, feed and non-food applications. Sub-objective 1.1: Select and acquire feedstocks; analyze and separate components. Sub-objective 1.2: Improve fractions and components by processing, chemical modification, enzymatic treatment, or combination with other materials. Objective 2: Enable new commercial uses for components from oilseed press cakes and pulses in health-promoting food, feed and industrial applications. Sub-objective 2.1: Develop food applications for pulse components. Sub-objective 2.2: Develop non-food applications for oilseed press cake and pulse components.

Approach:
Oilseed press cakes and pulse crops are two potentially valuable sources of functional food ingredients and biobased products from plant seed tissues which have not been fully exploited. New processing methods are critically needed in order to (1) identify new applications for currently low-value oilseed press cakes such as pennycress, coriander, and camelina, and (2) provide functional food ingredients from pulse crops in a form that facilitates incorporation into various food products while minimizing negative characteristics. In coordination with collaborating projects, pulse and press cake feedstocks will be obtained and their protein, starch, and fiber components separated by milling, extraction, or treatment with chemicals or enzymes. Thermo-mechanical processes such as steam jet cooking, steam explosion, and extrusion will be investigated as methods to separate, modify, or combine isolated components or remove undesirable components. Functional characteristics such as texture, particle size, microstructure, solubility, compatibility, and organoleptic properties will be determined and suitability for specific food and industrial applications will be investigated. The performance of prototype industrial products will be evaluated and the most efficient methods for the isolation of functional components determined. Anticipated biobased products include gums, adhesives, lubricants, thickeners, fibers, composite fillers, and coatings. Pulse fractions enriched in specific functional or nutritious ingredients will be incorporated into food formulations and evaluated for consumer acceptability. Successful utilization of these feedstocks will enhance the economic viability of the respective crops for farmers and thus provide agronomic benefits such as nitrogen fixation by legume crops and off-season cover crop benefits for oilseed producers.