Before the NIZO Plant Protein Functionality Conference started, the scientific committee of the conference, invited 6 applicants for the Young Scientist Award. Six young scientists (student, PhD student or equivalent) wit a submitted and accepted abstract for the post sesssions were invited to give a short oral presentation during the oral programme.

Out of these 6 applicants, 3 of them received a Young Scientist Award (one winner and 2 runner ups). Therefore, NIZO congratulates:

Winner: Larissa Vivienne Sankowski

We congratulate Larissa in winning this year’s Young Scientist Award. Well done! This research is well structured, well executed and presented in an attractive way. At NIZO we see a world of possibilities in the use of alternative proteins and this research on plant-based emulsions will certainly find its way to the market.

Runner up 1: Jannis Bulla

The jury was impressed by the approach to accelerate the development of plant-based starter cultures. At NIZO, we value such research because we truly believe that vegan fermented products will become mainstream.

Runner up 2: Regina Politiek

This research gave the jury very good insights into how environmental factors such as moisture can play a role in the processing of vegetable ingredients. At NIZO, we believe that mild processing is crucial for sustainable food development.


Potential of redcurrant protein as an emulsifier in oil-water-emulsions

Larissa Vivienne Sankowski, Luise Hennig, Stephan Drusch, Monika Brückner-Gühmann
Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Valorisation of berry pomace mainly focused on the extraction of polyphenols, antioxidants and lipids until now. Compositional analysis indicates that redcurrant pomace is also a potential source of plant protein to meet the increasing demand for sustainably sourced protein. It’s well known, that plant proteins usually represent a mixture of heterogeneous protein structures with varying functionality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to extract protein from redcurrant seeds at varying pH and to analyse the interfacial properties as well as the potential of these protein extracts to serve as an emulsifier. Protein composition and interfacial film formation properties of the extracts were analysed (SDS-PAGE, HPL-SEC, fluorescence photometry and interfacial rheology). Emulsions containing 1% redcurrant seed protein and 10% rapeseed oil were prepared by high-pressure homogenisation. The emulsions’ structure, droplet size distribution, droplet zeta potential, stability, rheological behaviour, and colour were characterized.
Under acidic conditions, predominantly albumins with high molecular mobility and surface hydrophobicity were extracted while a broad spectrum of proteins (mainly storage globulins) with higher surface charge were extracted at neutral pH. The proteins present in the albumin-rich extracts were able to form an interfacial film via hydrophobic interactions which was stable against coalescence. In contrast, the globulin-rich extract was prone to the occurrence of polyphenol-protein interactions increasing bridging flocculation and occurrence of a gel-like state of the emulsions. Therefore, redcurrant pomace includes protein fractions which allow stabilisation of the full range of oilin- water emulsions from low-viscous beverages to complex applications like cream desserts, mayonnaise-type sauces or even vegan sausage alternatives. Acknowledgement: This IGF Project of the FEI is supported via AiF within the programme for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), based on a resolution of the German Parliament under grant number iF 20917BG.

Development of plant-based fermentation media for the production of a vegan L. plantarum starter culture

Jannis Bulla, Jonas Teichmann, Doris Jaros, Harald Rohm
Institute of Natural Materials Technology, Chair of Food Engineering, Dresden, Germany

The demand of plant-based fermented foods as alternatives to dairy products has increased progressively in the last years because of health issues and ecological and ethical reasons. Commonly used lactic acid bacteria (LAB, e.g. Streptoccus thermophilus ) for the production of fermented dairy foods are usually cultivated in milk or whey-based media, but most of the global players of the starter culture industry already reacted to the demand and offer vegan cultures. The aim of our study is to develop cultivation media on the basis of side streams from the plant food industry to integrate the important aspects of sustainability and circular processing. We started with commercially available juices as model systems: carrot juice as a sugar source and sauerkraut juice as a mineral source due to its content of Na, K, Ca, Mg und P. Additionally, we investigated pea peptone and sunflower press cake (SFP), a by-product of the sunflower oil production, as nitrogen sources. In preliminary experiments various LAB (Lactoplantibacillus plantarum , Lactobacillus brevis ) were tested for growth and acidification activity in commercial MRS-Vegitone. Especially L. plantarum reached high ODs with sufficient acidification, and was further used in juice-based media supplemented with MnSO4 and adjusted to similar sugar and nitrogen content as in MRS-Vegitone. The effect of each component was tested by step to step supplementation. Both, MnSO4 and pea peptone, resulted in a significant increase in bacterial growth, which was even higher when used in combination. Experiments with SFP in an equivalent nitrogen concentration related to pea peptone revealed adaption of L. plantarum to the SFP, but acidification and bacterial growth were slower compared to pea peptone supplemented media. To improve the bioavailability of sunflower proteins further investigations will comprise different treatments of the press cakes for protein hydrolysis.

Runner up 2: Dry fractionation of legumes: Effect of relative humidity and oil content

R.G.A. Politiek1,2, J.K. Keppler1, M.E. Bruins2, M.A.I. Schutyser1
1Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 2Wageningen Food & Biobased
Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Protein ingredients from legumes are of major interest for both research and commercial purposes. Dry fractionation (i.e. milling, and subsequent air classification or electrostatic separation) can be used to produce protein, starch and fibre rich fractions with a clean label and lower environmental impact than traditional wet fractionation. The native states of protein and starch are preserved upon dry fractionation and allows making of ingredient fractions that exhibit unique functional properties. High relative humidity (RH) upon storage and higher oil contents can negatively influence milling and dry fractionation behaviour of legumes, which would be related to reduced flowability. Our focus is thus to establish optimal dry fractionation of legume flours by unravelling the effect of RH and oil content on process performance. The RH of processing air and storage environment was varied between 30 and 70% for milling and air classification of yellow pea and chickpea. Soybean oil was mechanically removed (9-20 g oil/100 g dry solids) to evaluate the effect of oil content on milling performance. Electrostatic separation of soy and defatted soy was evaluated with lupin as a comparison. Particle dispersibility analysis and powder rheology were carried out to assess flowability of the flours. Overall, our findings show that RH during milling and air classification has limited effect on milling and separation performance in the range of 30% – 70%. For chickpea a decrease in performance was observed at a RH of 70%, which was related to poorer flowability under these conditions. Residual oil content negatively affected the milling and separation performance. These observations were explained by poorer flowability at increasing oil content, which is illustrated by analysing particle dispersibility in air and powder rheology. Improving powder flowability by defatting and reducing RH for specific materials can thus lead to more optimal milling and dry separation of legumes.

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