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J Food Biochem. 2020 Feb 5:e13157. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13157. [Epub ahead of print]

Comparison of wheat, soybean, rice, and pea protein properties for effective applications in food products.

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Food Processing Center, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA.
Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


Pea and rice proteins are promising to substitute allergenic proteins, and increasingly, play important roles in the food industry because of their hypoallergenic characteristics and nutritional value. However, manufacturers generally provide limited functionality information on these proteins. Therefore, this study comprehensively compared functional properties of wheat, soybean, rice, and pea proteins for their industrial applications and illustrated correlation among various functionalities. Results showed that protein solubility (PS) was highly related to its water absorption (WA) capacity, emulsifying activity index (EAI), and emulsion stability index (ESI). The overall functionality of pea protein was close to that of soybean protein while rice protein cannot match with all other proteins. sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis indicated the composition of each protein was unique. While the deconvolution of the amide I band of the Raman spectra indicated soybean and pea proteins that shared similar features, but they were different from that of wheat and rice proteins. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Due to the allergenicity of wheat and soybean proteins, food manufacturers are looking for alternative protein sources. Rice and Pea proteins are promising substitutes because of their "allergen-friendly" as well as their emergence in the food market. This study provided a comprehensive comparison of the functionality of commercially available wheat, soybean, rice, and pea proteins. The information presented in this study would be helpful to food scientists, scholars, or engineers when they develop appropriate application of various proteins in food products.


Raman spectrum; SDS-PAGE; functionality; protein; secondary structure


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