Location: Functional Foods Research2020 Annual Report
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.
This is the final report for Project 5010-41000-169-00D which terminated in May 2020 and has been replaced by bridging Project 5010-41000-182-00D, “Improved Processes and Technologies for Comprehensive Utilization of Specialty Grains in Functional Food Production for Digestive Health and Food Waste Reduction.” 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 project is based on the following observable facts: 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. Based on these observations, we conducted 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 were and are being determined by using microscopy, scanning electron microscopy-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, rapid visco analyzer, nuclear magnetic resonance, and differential scanning calorimetry. They also were evaluated for their rheological properties, chemical, and processing properties for applications in functional foods. The research builds upon our prior successes with the innovative dietary fiber products, a series of widely commercialized functional ingredients produced from cereal grains. This research ultimately will help the continued advancement in food science that has moved the food industry along towards creating foods that promote optimal health and wellness. The recent research has generated knowledge and technologies for utilization of ancient grains. This includes development of new functional food opportunities, functional food ingredients, market applications, and products with increased health benefits. Research conducted on the ancient grains, such as amaranth, teff, and quinoa, which have special nutrition and gluten free qualities compared with common ordinary grains, has demonstrated the potential role of ancient grains as functional food ingredients. In contrast to wheat and rice, ancient grains are commonly used whole grains with their bran, germ, and endosperm which make them more nutritious. Unlike the protein found in wheat and rye, ancient grains contain a promising source of protein for people that are sensitive to gluten since they are gluten free. Therefore, these studies are important for the health of many Americans. Research was continued on innovative composites containing pulses or other legumes and amino acids from ancient grains. These new composites have special amino acids and nutritional components. The new bioactive components are found in our new composites prepared from ancient grains and legume products. These studies provide the food industry with the opportunity to add new bioactive ingredients to their existing food product lines, including soluble fibers, minerals, and complete essential amino acids. New and expanded markets for cereal grains including the utilization of agricultural by-products are important for improving the profitability of American agriculture. Applications were explored on the uses of processed and fractionated components of milling byproducts for non-food applications at the commercial level. Innovative bread and other bakery products containing amaranth were developed for increasing health benefits and improving textures. Novel composites of ancient grains and pulses, which are equally healthful and have complementary amino acid profiles vis a vis ancient grains, are being studied to develop super functional food ingredients that are nutritionally complete and functional in various food formulations. These innovative amaranth-containing baked products have nutritional and textual qualities that are comparable to those of existing all-wheat baked goods. Research was also conducted on analysis of important healthful components in these grains. Dietary fiber, free and bound phenolic and antioxidant activities were studied for selected gluten-free ancient grains. The results provided useful information on health benefits of functional foods and their uses in food applications. New studies were initiated on processing grain composites in the pilot plant. The effect of thermo-mechanical processing was studied on yield, qualities, and textures of hydrocolloids and soluble fibers. The new health promoting bioactive soluble fibers were evaluated and characterized. A study was also conducted on the antioxidant effect of amino acids derived from the milling byproducts on frying oils. As the research expanded to include pulses and other specialty grains or pseudo-grains, we investigated the role of dietary fiber and oligosaccharides in regulating human gut microbiota that have profound impact on human health and whether food processing (thermo-mechanical and biological) can affect the health of microbiome in the human gut. Using the grant from Pulse Crop Health Initiative, we evaluated the effectiveness of food processing methods on their ability to reduce the uncomfortable gas and bloating that can accompany pulse consumption. We examined eight processing methods across three classes of pulses. We found that gas production is correlated with human health outcomes, including fiber fermentation and butyrate production and it is strongly correlated with total oligosaccharide concentration. Processing had a significant effect on oligosaccharide concentration, and it significantly reduced gas production during in vitro fermentation. Among all processing methods, germination resulted in the lowest oligosaccharide concentration and gas production, reducing the total gas production, on average, by 10%. Jet-cooking also reduced gas production but did not show any change in oligosaccharide concentration. These processing methods will enable the production of high-fiber foods, such as pulse foods that will deliver high doses of dietary fiber promoting human health while limiting symptoms of gas and bloating. New studies were initiated on processing composites in pilot plant. Amaranth, an ancient grain, is high in protein that does not contain gluten and is a drought tolerant crop. Due to growing consumer interest in nutrition and environment, there is a renewed interest in amaranth. Processing methods such as dry roasting and jet cooking of amaranth flour were evaluated for proximate and amino acid composition, physical properties such as bulk density, water absorption, pasting and rheological characteristics and compared to wheat flour. The noodle dough and noodles made using the three amaranth flours and wheat flour were evaluated for rheology, texture, color and cooking loss. Raw Amaranth noodle dough was softer but roasted amaranth flour did not significantly differ in dough hardness from wheat flour dough. The noodles made from raw and processed amaranth flours were softer than wheat flour noodles. Raw and roasted amaranth flours had similar cooking losses as wheat flour, but jet cooked amaranth flour had higher cooking losses. Amaranth flour has potential for replacing wheat flour in the preparation of acceptable gluten-free, high protein noodles.
1. Effectiveness of processing methods of beans and peas on health and consumer acceptance. Pulses, dry beans, and peas are known healthy foods and a sustainable source of dietary protein and fiber, but few Americans consume pulses regularly due to beany flavor and gases, causing embarrassing flatulence. ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, used in vitro and in vivo studies to assess the effectiveness of food processing on reducing gas-producing oligosaccharides in pulses and their impact on colonic microbiota. Our goal is to use processing technologies to improve digestibility and reduce gas production in human guts. We have evaluated eight processing methods across three classes of pulses for their ability to reduce oligosaccharide concentration and mitigate gas production during gut microbial fermentation. We found that processing had a significant effect on oligosaccharide concentration, with most processing methods resulting in a reduction in oligosaccharide concentration. Processing also significantly affected gas production during in vitro fermentation. Gas production was strongly correlated with total oligosaccharide concentration, especially the concertation of stachyose and verbascose, adjusting for processing method and pulse type. Among all processing methods, germination resulted in the best combination of both low oligosaccharide concentration and low gas production. Jet-cooking also reduced gas production but not oligosaccharide concentration. This suggests that jet-cooking may modify the gut fermentation characteristics of pulse oligosaccharides and other fibers to reduce total gas production. This discovery could lead to the development of a pulse processing strategy of reducing gas production and its concomitant impact on consumer’s purchase behavior. A new research proposal involving germination and jet cooking has been submitted.
2. Bio-based cat litters made from renewable sourced materials. A growing number of bio-based cat litters are currently sold internationally, as many cat owners are concerned with disposal problems encountered with traditional inorganic clay-based litters as well as the fact that cats might harm themselves by ingesting these litters or by inhaling clay dust. ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, have successfully developed biobased cat litters and tested them against current commercial bio-based cat litters and traditional cat litters. The new cat litter has proved to be superior to not only traditional cat litters but also to whole corn-based cat litters as it has better odor and wet absorbency. A US-based Pet Care Company has signed confidential agreement to work with ARS scientists on the cat litter. An invention disclosure has been approved by ARS Chemical Patent Committee.
3. Reduction of food wastes through better utilization of processing by-products. Soybean hulls are a by-product from soy processing for oil and soy meal. ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, investigated water holding capacity, pasting properties, and antioxidant activities of soybean hulls in order to examine the feasibility of the use of soybean hulls as high-fiber food ingredient. In addition, the conditions for extracting proteins from soybean hulls including optimum pH, as well as homogenizing and separation methods for extraction, were also studied. Higher protein content in extracts and recoveries was obtained with extraction at pH 9. Using sieve separation may be an effective way to extract proteins from hulls for industrial applications. The precipitated protein content increased from 51.52% to 59.29% after purification by washing with water once; however, after two washes, no further improvement was shown. The extracted proteins and the ground hull powder (10% protein), dried supernatant (14% protein) and sediments (7-8% proteins) along with valuable fibers should be good food ingredients for several food categories. This research explored the great potential of converting the low value by-products into value-added functional food uses along with the benefit of reducing food wastes. Several food prototypes using materials extracted from soybean hulls have been developed and are in the process of being tested.
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Winkler-Moser, J.K., Anderson, J.A., Byars, J.A., Singh, M., Hwang, H. 2019. Evaluation of beeswax, candelilla wax, rice bran wax, and sunflower wax as alternative stabilizers for peanut butter. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 96(11):1235-1248. https://doi.org/10.1002/aocs.12276.
Berhow, M.A., Singh, M., Bowman, M.J., Price, N.P.J., Vaughn, S.F., Liu, S.X. 2020. Quantitative NIR determination of isoflavone and saponin content of ground soybeans. Food Chemistry. 317:126373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126373.
Hwang, H., Winkler-Moser, J.K., Liu, S.X. 2019. Study on antioxidant activity of amino acids at frying temperatures and their interaction with rosemary extract, green tea extract, and ascorbic acid. Journal of Food Science. 84(12):3614-3623. https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.14963.
Xu, J., Liu, S.X., Boddu, V.M. 2019. Micro-rheological and micro-heterogeneity properties of soluble glutinous rice starch (SGRS) solutions studied by diffusing wave spectroscopy (DWS). Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization. 13:2822-2827. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11694-019-00202-8.
Xu, J., Boddu, V.M., Liu, S.X., Liu, W.-C. 2020. A comparative study of microrheology of nanocellulose produced from corn stover using diffusing wave spectroscopy (DWS) and mechanical rheometry. Cellulose Chemistry and Technology. 54(1-2):27-32. https://doi.org/10.35812/CelluloseChemTechnol.2020.54.03.