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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Sep;100(18):7909-20. doi: 10.1007/s00253-016-7441-8. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Production of hydrophobic amino acids from biobased resources: wheat gluten and rubber seed proteins.

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Biobased Chemistry and Technology, Wageningen University, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Research Centre for Chemistry, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Building 452, Kawasan Puspiptek Serpong, Tangerang Selatan, 15314, Indonesia.
Biobased Chemistry and Technology, Wageningen University, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Biophysics Division, Department of Physics, Bogor Agricultural University, Kampus IPB Darmaga, Bogor, 16680, Indonesia.
Study Programme of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Ganesha 10, Bandung, 40132, Indonesia.
Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen UR, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG, Wageningen, the Netherlands.


Protein hydrolysis enables production of peptides and free amino acids that are suitable for usage in food and feed or can be used as precursors for bulk chemicals. Several essential amino acids for food and feed have hydrophobic side chains; this property may also be exploited for subsequent separation. Here, we present methods for selective production of hydrophobic amino acids from proteins. Selectivity can be achieved by selection of starting material, selection of hydrolysis conditions, and separation of achieved hydrolysate. Several protease combinations were applied for hydrolysis of rubber seed protein concentrate, wheat gluten, and bovine serum albumin (BSA). High degree of hydrolysis (>50 %) could be achieved. Hydrophobic selectivity was influenced by the combination of proteases and by the extent of hydrolysis. Combination of Pronase and Peptidase R showed the highest selectivity towards hydrophobic amino acids, roughly doubling the content of hydrophobic amino acids in the products compared to the original substrates. Hydrophobic selectivity of 0.6 mol-hydrophobic/mol-total free amino acids was observed after 6 h hydrolysis of wheat gluten and 24 h hydrolysis of rubber seed proteins and BSA. The results of experiments with rubber seed proteins and wheat gluten suggest that this process can be applied to agro-industrial residues.


Biorefinery; Hydrophobicity; Protease; Protein hydrolysis; Rubber seed; Wheat gluten

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