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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 #442789

Research Project: PCHI - Enzymatic Modification of Pulse Proteins to Improve Technical and Health Functionalities for Diversified Food Applications

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-036-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

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

(1) Develop a scalable and environmentally-friendly processing technology to produce partially hydrolyzed pulse protein ingredients with improved technical functionalities for diversified food applications and with enriched bioactive compounds, which are beneficial for human health; (2) Manufacture optimized partially hydrolyzed pulse ingredients in a ready-to-use form and apply these ingredients in different model food systems such as a yogurt alternative product, a model food emulsion, and a model coffee creamer/foam; and (3) Yogurt alternative products obtained from Objective 2 will be used as model food to demonstrate their impact on human health improvement aspects in terms of reducing cardiovascular risk factors, anti-inflammatory effects, and modulating human gut microbiome.

Protein hydrolysates will be manufactured from two pulse protein ingredients by enzymatic partial hydrolysis (pea protein isolate and lentil protein concentrate). The obtained protein hydrolysates will be characterized for physicochemical functionalities (solubility, molecular weight distribution, emulsification capacity, foamability, gelation characteristics), phytochemical content, and bioactivity (e.g., antioxidant activity). Four model pulse yogurt alternatives made from intact pulse proteins or protein hydrolysates will be: 1) characterized for full spectrum textural, rheology, and tribology characteristics; 2) used in in vitro digestion (human model) and fecal fermentation studies for revealing the impact of consumption of pulse yogurt alternatives enriched in pulse protein hydrolysate on human gut microbiome and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Scale-up production of two pulse yogurt alternative formulas will be carried out at the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab to demonstrate industrial processing feasibility and to validate the impacts of pulse protein hydrolysate on texture, phase stability, and sensory attributes of the prototyped products.