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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #442828

Research Project: PCHI – Isolating and Characterizing Protein Fractions from Black Beans and Lentils for use as Novel Oil Structuring Agents

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-039-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

(1) Produce and characterize foam-templated oleogels structured using black bean and lentil protein extracts obtained from an aqueous extraction procedure (AEP), and associated fractions derived based on relative solubility; (2) Evaluate the impact of modifying the extraction process on the functional properties of black bean and lentil protein-based foam-templated oleogels by using an enzyme-assisted aqueous extraction process (EAEP); (3) Optimize the fat-like techno-functional properties of foam-templated pulse protein oleogels by incorporating various lipid-based oleogelators capable of forming a secondary oil structuring network; (4) Evaluate lipid and protein digestibility of oleogels structured with AEP, EAEP, and optimized protein/small molecule ‘hybrid oleogels’ using static in vitro digestion; and (5) Evaluate optimized hybrid oleogels in food products to evaluate functional performance as fat mimetics, incorporate optimized hybrid oleogels into model food matrices that exhibit varying breakdown rates during digestion (fast, medium, or slow), and evaluate the impact of oleogel structure on macronutrient digestibility using dynamic in vitro digestion.

An environmentally friendly, solvent-free protein extraction procedure will be used to derive protein extracts and associated fractions from black beans and lentils. The impact of standard- and enzyme-assisted aqueous extraction processes on the extraction efficiency (protein content), protein composition, functionality (solubility, emulsification, foaming), and performance as oil structuring agents will be evaluated. The protein extracts and fractions will be used to form structured edible oils (oleogels) using a foam-templated approach, utilizing the optimized foaming conditions determined for each protein fraction. Functional properties (oil absorption, oil binding, large deformation, and rheological behavior) and microstructure of the protein-based oleogels will be evaluated. Addition of secondary structuring agents will be evaluated to optimize fat-like techno-functional properties based on melting behavior, plasticity, and rheological performance. Oleogels with optimized fat-like performance will be evaluated in food products. Evaluation of digestion behavior and nutrient bioaccessibility will be evaluated for the oleogels using a static digestion model. Corresponding digestion properties will be evaluated in the context of model food systems with distinct softening rates.