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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #428735

Research Project: Innovative Processing Technologies for Creating Functional Food Ingredients with Health Benefits from Food Grains, their Processing Products, and By-products

Location: Functional Foods Research

Project Number: 5010-41000-169-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

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

Objective 1. Identify and integrate, for commercial use, food grain bioactive components that promote health beyond their basic nutritional values and examine their structures and interactions between biologically active constituents and other nutritional components in functional foods. Sub-objective 1A. Identify, extract, and develop new health promoting bioactive hydrocolloidal fractions and their commercilizable products from gluten-free grains and ancient grains by processing, separating, and enzymatic modification technologies. Sub-objective 1B. Characterize the biological activity of the new health promoting bioactive hydrocolloids and soluble dietary fibers compositions from gluten-free grains and ancient grains. Objective 2. Enable new commercial processing technologies that protect, stabilize, or maintain the activity of sensitive bioactive components throughout processing, handling, and storage. Sub-objective 2A. Examine and evaluate various enzyme systems for fragmenting gluten-free grains and ancient grains and their products including flours, hulls, and particle components along with analysis and testing for antioxidant components and hydrocolloidal components with collaborators from academia, industry, and other ARS scientists. Sub-objective 2B. Examine microstructural and macrostructural properties of processed functional fractions/extracts from gluten-free grains including ancient grains using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and various particle scattering methods, and investigate the influences of these structures on interaction between functional components and flavors in food matrices and rheological properties (ultimately to sensory properties such as texture and mouthfeel and processbility of the functional materials in food processing). Sub-objective 2C. Evaluate the newly-created health-promoting compositions from gluten-free grains and ancient grains for their functional qualities in food including taste, texture, and color. Engage end user stakeholder groups in collaborative projects for technology transfer activities of the technologies and associated products. After the developed bioactive hydrocolloids and soluble dietary fibers are available from pilot plant production, evaluations will be carried out with various food applications, such as beverages, baked goods, and meats.

The long term goal of this project is to promote optimal health and wellness by creating innovative and economically viable food ingredients from gluten-free grains including some ancient grains. The hypothesis is that conversion of grain milling products into bioactive functional ingredients will lead to creating natural hydrocolloids, clean-labeled bioactive compound fractions or concentrates, and related composites that are suitable and desirable for use in functional foods. We base that hypothesis on the following observations: 1) milled grain products contain large quantities of bioactive and phyto-protective compounds, 2) research on phytochemical enrichment and extraction has proven that physical, chemical, and enzymatic treatment can produce phyto-protective and bioactive rich materials as food ingredients. Preliminary studies indicated that they did not appear to interfere with processing/manufacturing properties and sensory profiles in food formulations. Based on these observations, we will conduct basic and applied research on development of functional ingredients from mainly gluten-free ancient grains and related byproducts by determining their processing parameters and structure/property characteristics. Furthermore, structural and physical properties will also be determined by using microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, rapid visco analyzer (RVA), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). They also will be evaluated for their biological activities, chemical, and processing properties for applications in functional foods. The research will build upon our prior successes with the Trim products, a series of widely commercialized functional ingredients produced from cereal grains. This research will help the continued advancement in food science that has moved the food industry along towards creating foods that promote optimal health and wellness.