Which plant proteins are suitable for mass production, in taste, functionality and profitability? This question is critical, as the world population is expected to grow above 9 billion people in 2050 and the demand for high nutritional foods and proteins will increase. Common issues with commercial plant proteins are their low solubility and off-taste. We studied these issues and created new opportunities with green pea proteins.
To find a profitable way of producing (extracting and drying) plant proteins, it is crucial to understand their behaviour. The problem with many commercial plant protein ingredients is that often they exhibit a low solubility. NIZO has studied -and solved- this issue in protein extraction from green peas (Pisum sativa).
The protein extracts were dried by freeze drying and spray drying under different conditions (heat loads). Pea proteins were chosen based on two aspects:
Crucial in the development of the extraction process was the possibility for up-scaling to pilot and industrial scale. Based on NIZO expertise, the spray-drying conditions were optimized for the time-temperature conditions resulting in highly functional plant protein powder, both in terms of powder characteristics and solubility.
Pea protein isolates with a protein on dry matter content of over 90% were obtained. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to determine the denaturation enthalpy of the different powders.
The NIZO pea protein isolate and the commercial pea isolate 1 are both high in the attributes Pea and Green. These are flavour attributes that are related to the smell of pea and green vegetables/grass. Compared to the commercial products, the NIZO pea extract is extremely low in the attributes Beany, Cardboard and Wet socks. These attributes are generally associated with product defects with respect to fat oxidation off-flavours (Cardboard) and heat induced deterioration of proteins (Wet socks). The mouthfeel attributes did not show large variations between the samples. Especially the attribute Astringent, which is related to the molecular properties of plant proteins, did not show a significant difference between the samples. The NIZO pea protein extract has a more fresh character than the commercial products and has almost no oxidation off flavours.
Do you wish to have more information? Please contact our expert Fred van de Velde.