Emerging plant-based proteins: comparison from extraction to functional properties and food application

Gastaldello, Silvia (2021) Emerging plant-based proteins: comparison from extraction to functional properties and food application, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9846.
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The increasing demand for alternatives to meat food products, which is linked to ethical and environmental reasons, highlights the necessity of using different protein sources. Plant proteins provide a valid option, thanks to the relative low costs, high availability and wide supply sources. The current process used to produce plant concentrates and isolates is the alkaline extraction followed by isoelectric precipitation. However, despite the high purity of the proteins, it presents some drawbacks. Innovative protein extraction processes are emerging, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact and the costs, as well as improving the functional properties. In this study, the traditional wet protein extraction and another simplified wet process were used to obtain protein-rich extracts out of different plants. The sources considered in the project were de-oiled sunflower and canola, chickpea, lentils, and the camelina meal, an emerging oleaginous seed interesting for its high content of omega 3. The extracts obtained from the two processes were then analysed for their capacities to hold water and fat, to form gel and a stable foam. Results highlighted strong differences concerning the protein content, yield and functionalities. The extracts obtained with the alkaline process confirmed the literature data about the four plant sources (sunflower, canola, chickpea and lentils) and allow to obtain a camelina concentrate with a protein content of 63 % and a protein recovery of 41 %. The second easiest process was not effective to obtain a protein enrichment in oleaginous sources, whereas an enrichment of 10 and 15 % was obtained in chickpea and lentils, respectively. The functional properties were also completely different: the easiest process produced protein ingredients completely water-soluble at pH 7, with a discrete foaming capacity compared to the extracts obtained with alkaline process. These characteristics could make these extracts suitable for the plant milk-analogue products.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Gastaldello, Silvia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Plant proteins
Data di discussione
7 Giugno 2021

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