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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 #445002

Research Project: PCHI: Re-structuring Pulse Proteins into Valuable Fibrils via Biocatalysis

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-050-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2025

In this project, we will re-structure the globular pulse proteins into fibrils via novel and sustainable biocatalysis techniques. We will further study the fibrillation attributes that can guide their novel and future applications. To achieve these goals, three objectives will be undertaken: (1) Optimize the biocatalytic generation of fibril precursors from pulse proteins; (2) Induce the formation of protein fibrils under specific biological treatments; and (3) Determine the digestibility, allergenicity, and functionality of pulse protein fibrils.

To achieve Objective 1, we will perform pulse protein extraction using enzyme-assisted extraction method and conduct the preparation of fibril precursors with desired functions via optimized enzymatic hydrolysis. The protein hydrolysates that have the highest beta-sheet content and hydrophobicity will be selected from each pulse source. To achieve objective 2, we will perform pulse protein fibril formation via non-enzymatic (change in pH and heating) versus enzymatic inductions. Afterward, we will perform the characterization and comparison of the fibrils for fibril formation, composition of protein subunits, morphological features, average particle sizes, and secondary structures. The protein fibrils that have the highest fibril formation, uniform protein subunits, size, and structures, and ordered fibrillar morphological features will be selected. To achieve objective 3, we will perform digestion of pulse protein fibrils in a simulated gastrointestinal digestion model. Pulse proteins, pulse protein non-digested fibrils, gastric digests of fibrils, and intestinal digests of fibrils, will be used for the following assays: digestibility assay, allergenicity assay, and functionality assay.