Changes in protein structural characteristics upon processing of gluten-free millet pasta

Catrin Tyl, Alessandra Marti, Baraem P. Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Proso millet exhibits favorable agronomic and nutritional properties but is currently under-utilized in the northern hemisphere. This study compared processing-induced changes in protein characteristics of commercial pasta to fresh gluten-free pasta from proso millet varieties differing in prolamin profile. Protein solubility, accessible thiols and secondary structures were measured in dough, sheeted and cooked pasta. Relationships between protein conformation and characteristics related to pasta quality were determined. Cooking significantly lowered protein solubility and induced exposure of thiol groups as well as a shift in secondary structure distribution, while sheeting only had a minor effect. Random structures positively and significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with solubility, cooking loss and protein digestibility. In contrast, β-sheets, the main secondary structure in cooked pasta, negatively correlated with these properties. The utilization of proso millet in gluten-free pasta is promising, however, processing optimization to elicit targeted protein modifications to balance quality and nutritional attributes requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127052
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for financial support, Prof. James Anderson ( University of Minnesota , St. Paul, MN) for providing millets samples and Dr. Brian Anderson (Bunge Limited, St.Louis, MO, US) for help with decortication and milling. The authors wish to also acknowledge Chathurada Gajadeera and Ingrid Cordelino for their help in FTIR spectra collection and pasta making, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Pasta processing
  • Proso millet
  • Protein secondary structure
  • Protein solubility


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