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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390085

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Utilization to Increase the Production Efficiency and Sustainability of Rainbow Trout Aquaculture

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Title: Developing an optimized method for measuring chymotrypsin inhibitor activity in protein products

item Liu, Keshun
item Woolman, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2022
Publication Date: 5/4/2022
Citation: Liu, K., Woolman, M.J. 2022. Developing an optimized method for measuring chymotrypsin inhibitor activity in protein products. Meeting Abstract for 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1-4, 2022 (hybrid). 2/2.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Protease inhibitors of protein nature, such as trypsin inhibitors and chymotrypsin inhibitors, are rich in seeds of legume crops. Soybeans contain Kunitz inhibitor and Bowman-Birk inhibitor. The former inhibits trypsin mainly, while the latter inhibits both trypsin and chymotrypsin. Other legumes contain similar types. Historically, trypsin inhibitor activity in legume products has been of primary interest for measurement due to its antinutritional implication. However, Bowman-Birk inhibitor has been shown therapeutic. It is also more resistant to heat than Kunitz inhibitor. As increasing volumes of plant proteins are being used for food or feed in recent years, there is a growing interest in monitoring chymotrypsin inhibitor activity (CTIA) in these products as well. Therefore, it is important to have a robust method for accurately assaying CTIA. Three years ago, at our USDA lab, we developed an improved method for measuring trypsin inhibitor activity, which was later adopted as AOCS Official Method, Ba 12a-2020. This presentation reports our new effort in developing a method for measuring CTIA, using N-benzoyl-L-tyrosine p-nitroanilide (BTpNA) as a substrate. Unlike the substrate for measuring trypsin inhibitor activity, BTpNA is not water soluble, an organic solvent that is miscible with water must be present. Therefore, the assay system for measuring CTIA was much more complicated than that for measuring trypsin inhibitor activity. This made the method development more difficult than originally thought. After investigating effects of organic solvent, enzyme concentration, % chymotrypsin inhibition, and the sequence of adding reagents, a significantly improved method for CTIA measurement was finally developed by trial and error. It featured dimethylformamide as the organic solvent, the enzyme-last sequence, 5 mL total assay volume, and calculation of the inhibitor activity based on % chymotrypsin inhibition. The method was reliable and robust and could be standardized for measuring CTIA in various protein products.