The demand for pulse proteins as alternatives to soy protein has been steeply increasing over the past decade. However, the relatively inferior functionality compared to soy protein is hindering the expanded use of pulse proteins, namely pea and chickpea protein, in various applications. Harsh extraction and processing conditions adversely impact the functional performance of pea and chickpea protein. Therefore, a mild protein extraction method involving salt extraction coupled with ultrafiltration (SE-UF) was evaluated for the production of chickpea protein isolate (ChPI). The produced ChPI was compared to pea protein isolate (PPI) produced following the same extraction method in terms of functionality and feasibility of scaling. Scaled-up (SU) ChPI and PPI were produced under industrially relevant settings and evaluated in comparison to commercial pea, soy, and chickpea protein ingredients. Controlled scaled-up production of the isolates resulted in mild changes in protein structural characteristics and comparable or improved functional properties. Partial denaturation, modest polymerization, and increased surface hydrophobicity were observed in SU ChPI and PPI compared to the benchtop counterparts. The unique structural characteristics of SU ChPI, including its ratio of surface hydrophobicity and charge, contributed to superior solubility at both a neutral and acidic pH compared to both commercial soy protein and pea protein isolates (cSPI and cPPI) and significantly outperformed cPPI in terms of gel strength. These findings demonstrated both the promising scalability of SE-UF and the potential of ChPI as a functional plant protein ingredient.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by the Good Food Institute (GFI) nonprofit organization.
© 2023 by the authors.
- chickpea protein isolate
- functional properties
- pea protein isolate
- salt extraction coupled with ultrafiltration
- scaled-up production
- structural characteristics
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article