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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Research Project #435584

Research Project: Flavor, Nutrition and Functional Properties of Pea Protein

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-001-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Dec 31, 2021

(1) Produce pea protein isolates (PPI) and hydrolysates (PPH) and determine their structure, molecular interactions, surface properties, and functionality. (2) Identify the aroma and taste compounds in PPI and PPH that provide an undesirable flavor, and elucidate formation pathways to guide protein isolation and processing protocols. (3) Determine the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCASS) of PPI and PPH and evaluate their potential to promote a reduction in adiposity using an animal model.

Pea flour will be used to prepare pea protein isolates (PPI) following a number of procedures and variables. Lab scale trials will be performed to optimize yield, and preserve color and protein structure. Pilot scale production utilizing optimized and industry feasible conditions will follow. PPI will be subjected to structural characterization following previously developed procedures. The functional properties (solubility, emulsification, foaming and gelation) of isolates and hydrolysates will be determined following previously developed procedures. PPI and pea protein hydrolysate (PPH) samples will be subjected to flavor profiling. The aroma in the protein samples will be extracted using the Assisted Flavor Extraction (SAFE) and analyzed by gas chromatography olfactometry. Chromatographic peaks will be integrated and the constituents identified using mass spectrometry. Non-volatile taste compounds will also be isolated via aqueous extraction followed by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry analysis. The data collected will be used to optimize the protein extraction protocol and reduce off flavor in the protein isolate. PPI and PPH, prior and post optimization of off flavor reduction, will be assessed for nutritional quality and potential to reduce adiposity using an animal model. Decrease in adiposity will be determined in the context of a high fat diet, which induces body fat accumulation. After ten weeks of feeding the diets, rats will be euthanized and adiposity will be assessed by fat pad weight and by plasma leptin concentration.