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Nutritional and functional value of pea protein (nutripea)

The protein fraction extracted from peas is a valuable ingredient and is purified to yield a protein concentrate or isolate with a high nutritional quality. However, peas like any other legume contain anti-physiological (eg causing flatulence) and anti-nutritional (eg. phytic acid, saponins, lectins) factors which can be concentrated in the isolated pea protein. The project develops improved pea protein products which are devoid of these factors using new bioprocessing methods embracing micro-organisms or enzymes. The project deals with: process optimization; evaluation of the functional and sensory quality of the improved pea protein products; screening the new pea products in-vitro and in animal models; and evaluation of an infant formula based on the improved pea protein. These all lead to improved pea products which are physiologically and sensorically suitable for human consumption. The nutritional value of pea protein was enhanced by the development of a modified extraction technique. Process optimizations, including addition of exogenous enzymes, reduced the contents of anti-nutritional factors to desirable levels. The functional properties of available standard pea protein isolate products have been assessed, as has their suitability for inclusion in liquid products. Acceptable infant products based on standard pea protein isolate and bioprocessed pea protein have been produced and are being tested in a human study. The following findings relate to the functional properties of the standard and bioprocessed pea proteins: the emulsifying and thickening properties are adversely affected by an acidic pH and the addition of salts, a high stirring rate enhances solubility and emulsifying properties but has a negative effect on texture, heat treatment enhances textural properties. A factory trial on the product for human consumption is planned as are in-vitro tests for mineral bioavailability and protein digestibility.

Reported by

Chalmers University of Technology
402 29 Göteborg
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Biotechnology - Food