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Dr. Lingyun Chen, University of Alberta
Dr. Lingyun Chen is a Full Professor in the Dept. of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Plant Protein Structure Function. She has significantly advanced the understanding of plant protein structure underlying their functionality, and the generated knowledge has been applied to develop protein ingredients of improved physicochemical, nutritional, sensory, and functional properties towards health food applications. Another area of interest is to develop biodegradable materials from agricultural residues for packaging, composites and other industrial applications.
Dr. Chen has 150 refereed journal publications and more than 100 conference presentations in food and biodegradable materials areas, and holds several patent and patent applications in plant protein food application area. She has been awarded 2020-21 Killam Annual Professors at the University of Alberta. She is also leading and chairing protein symposiums/sessions in international conferences such as AOCS.
Effect of high pressure homogenization on pulse protein structure and functional properties
High pressure homogenization profoundly impacted the pulse protein aggregation, and subsequently also its solubility and interfacial properties. Using faba bean protein as model, this research demonstrates that high pressure homogenization dissociated large insoluble protein aggregates (> 1 µm), leading to soluble supramolecular aggregates formed by the association of legumin and vicilin, mainly through hydrophobic interactions. Accordingly, homogenization dramatically improved faba bean protein solubility (1% w/v) from 35 to 99% at neutral pH. High pressure homogenized proteins adsorbed at the air-water interface faster than the untreated ones as a result of their higher surface hydrophobicity and the dissociation of insoluble protein aggregates. However, the supramolecular aggregates may compete with protein molecules at the interface, which then impaired the viscoelasticity of the interfacial network. Consequently, the foaming capacity of 30 kpsi treated faba bean protein improved from 91 to 260% with 95% retention for 30 min. However, the protein emulsifying property was decreased to certain extend. This research revealed that plant globular protein aggregation status can determine both protein solubility and functionality. It has also provided insight into how high pressure homogenization can be used strategically to modify protein functionality by modulating protein aggregation.
Dr. Laurice Pouvreau, Wageningen University & Research
Laurice is a research scientist and project leader ‘Plant protein technology’ at Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Laurice trained as a protein chemist in France, after which she acquired her PhD in the Food Chemistry chair group of WUR, studying potato proteins. Laurice further pursued interest in plant proteins at NIZO, a contract research institute, and subsequently at Cargill, where she gained experience in (mild) fractionation, structuring and application in food products using a broad range of plant proteins. Laurice is driven to contribute to improving the quality of new sources of protein and delivering sustainable and tasty food products.
Structuring of plant proteins towards plant-based foods: The challenge ahead
Plant based foods consumption can only be achieved if the available alternatives are appealing and tasty for the consumers. Appeal of the plant-based foods increases the chance of ‘first’ buy and a ‘tasty’ product increases the chance of coming back for more. Consumers are choosing plant-based foods more often, as demonstrated by recent rapid market growth of for example meat and dairy analogues. However, consumers are still not satisfied with the sensorial quality that offers plant-based foods and are asking for more natural products (less ingredients or less refined ingredients).This presentation will give an overview on the challenges of structuring plant proteins for successful plant-based foods.
Dr. Gary Reineccius, University of Minnesota
Gary Reineccius, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. He has been actively involved in flavor research for more than 50 years. During this time he has published over 230 research articles. Dr. Reineccius has spent sabbatical leaves with Fritzsche Dodge and Olcott (New York, flavor creation and encapsulation), Nestle (Switzerland, process flavors) and Robertet S.A. (France, taste modifiers and encapsulation). Dr. Reineccius has taught courses in Food Processing, Food Chemistry, Food Analysis, and Flavor Chemistry and Technology. He has written the only college textbook on food flavors: the second edition of this book became available in 2006 and is the only textbook in the flavor area which combines both flavor chemistry and technology. Dr. Reineccius’ achievements have been recognized by numerous local and international organizations and food/flavor industry. His current research focus is on flavor interactions with proteins and food ingredient encapsulation.
Gaining an understanding of flavor reactions with plant proteins using radioisotopes
There are two major flavor related issues limiting the use of plant proteins as food ingredients: inherent off notes from the protein source and short product shelf-life due to the reaction of the proteins with added flavorings. This project addresses the second issue, the loss of product self-life due to flavor: protein reactions. Specifically, we will be developing analytical methodology to measure the covalent bonding that occurs between flavor compounds and the very complex and diverse plant proteins such that strategies can be developed to mediate this flavor loss. The methodology to be developed will use radioactively labeled flavor compounds to measure covalent bond formation between model flavor compounds and pea protein isolates (the model protein chosen for method development). A radio labelled flavor compound will be reacted with pea protein isolate (PPI), the unreacted isotopes separated from the protein, and the radioactivity will be measured with a scintillation counter. This approach has the advantage of being a rapid, highly quantitative measure of the degree of bonding with whatever proteins are present in a sample. This methodology will be used to investigate strategies to improve product shelf-life by reducing this undesirable loss of flavor.
Dr. Bingcan Chen, North Dakota State University
Bingcan Chen received his Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Cereal and Food Chemistry at the North Dakota State University. His research focuses on lipid oxidation and flavor chemistry, specialty oil (hemp oil and CBD oil) and plant proteins from new and emerging crops. He has published more than 80 peer reviewed articles and 4 book chapters. Bingcan has received several prestigious awards, including 2020 AOCS Young Scientist Research Award, AOCS Junior Researcher Travel Grant, and The Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship of AOCS. Bingcan is an active member in Lipid Oxidation & Quality division of AOCS, and the Events Chair of Food Chemistry division of IFT.
Physicochemical properties and aromatic profiles of hemp protein as affected by dehulling, defatting, and precipitation pH
Hempseed has been identified as a good source of plant proteins, which is characterized with high quality, such as well-balanced amino acids profile and excellent digestibility. Most of hempseed protein isolate (HPI) obtained in previous studies were prepared from whole meal or hexane-defatted flour and precipitated unanimously at pH 5.0 of alkaline extraction-isoelectric precipitation (AE−IEP) method. In the current study, the influence of dehulling and defatting pretreatments, and precipitation pH (5.0 and 6.0) on the chemical composition, structure and functional properties of hempseed protein isolate (HPI) was comprehensively determined by using SDS-PAGE, SEC-HPLC-UV/RI/MALS, CD spectroscopy, and DSC. The result demonstrated that dehulling process significantly increased the extraction and protein recovery yields of HPI. In addition, HPI prepared from hexane/Folch defatted hemp flour at pH 6.0 precipitation exhibited increased extraction and protein recovery yields with higher protein purity (93.26%) and desired nutrition profile. The current study for the first time provides valuable information about the influence of pretreatments on the properties of HPI, which will facilitate further research and application of hempseed as value added ingredients.
Dr. Zata Vickers, University of Minnesota
Zata Vickers is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Her research encompasses the spheres of sensory evaluation of foods and of food acceptability. She has focused her research on such topics as crispness, astringency, satiety, sensory-specific satiety, long-term acceptability of foods, using food to improve mood, and methods research related to topics such as palate cleansers and odor mixtures. She directs the Sensory Center at the University of Minnesota that provides sensory testing services to researchers within the University and to other Universities and private businesses. She teaches an introductory course in Food Science and courses about the sensory evaluation of foods.
Characterizing and texturizing pulse proteins to form meat-like fibers
Our goal is to link pulse-protein characteristics with their suitability for preparing meat-like textures. This Good Food Institute-funded project has three overlapping parts:
Part 1. Characterize and functionalize pulse flours and protein isolates for producing muscle-like fibers, and relate the protein characteristics to attributes of the texturized protein produced.
Part 2. Build muscle-like structures from pulse protein-based ingredients using twin-screw extrusion.
Part 3. Measure the quality of these textured proteins using sensory measurements.
We are beginning this research Fall 2020. This presentation will describe our goals and outline our proposed methods. At this early stage we welcome your advice and suggestions!
Dr. Atze Jan Van Der Goot, Wageningen University & Research
Atze Jan van der Goot obtained his MSc and PhD Chemical Engineering at Groningen University, The Netherlands. After that, he became research scientist at Unilever Research. In 1999, he joined the Food Process Engineering Group of Wageningen University as associate professor. He became full professor in 2015.
Currently, he leads a research team of 12 PhD-students and postdocs. The research in his group focusses on creating scientific knowledge that allows the production of healthy foods produced in a sustainable manner. Main research topics are concentrated processing and development of plant based alternatives for animal products. He is also the scientific leader of the Plant Meat Matters research program that aims at the development of the next generation meat analogues. He (co-) authored 150 peer reviewed papers and holds 6 patents
The search for new protein sources for plant-based meat alternatives
Plant-based meat analogues are increasing in popularity. However, modern consumer demands suggest that a wider range of protein sources should be used to make those products, amongst others as alternatives to soy and gluten. In this presentation, the potential of novel protein sources will be discussed, which will range from legumes to agriculture by-product streams. The challenges related to extraction of proteins and routes to tune functional properties of protein ingredients towards meat analogue applications will be explained. Further, It will be shown that the making of the ingredients largely determines the sustainability of final product. For example, striving for high purity generally leads to inefficient raw material use and requires lots of energy and chemicals in the fractionation process. Therefore, the concepts of functional fractionation will be introduced. The presentation will end by highlighting which protein sources have most potential and by outlining how those novel protein sources could be used in a shear cell technology for making ‘real meat’ texture.
Dr. Kathleen Hill Gallant, RD, University of Minnesota
Kathleen (Katie) Hill Gallant, PhD, RD is an Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota in June 2020, she was an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Hill Gallant holds a BS in Dietetics and an MS in Kinesiology from the University of North Dakota and earned her PhD in Nutrition from Purdue University. Dr. Hill Gallant leads a clinical and translational research program focused on mineral metabolism in chronic kidney disease. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, as well as a “Rising Star” Research Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. She is a member of several other professional organizations including the American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Plant protein potential for improved nutritional management of bone and mineral disorders of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major chronic disease, affecting approximately 37 million American adults. Patients with CKD develop bone and mineral disorders that lead to morbidity and increased mortality. Disordered phosphorus metabolism is central to the development of these mineral and bone problems, and patients are often prescribed phosphate binder medications or low phosphorus diets in an attempt to limit absorbed phosphorus load. However, traditional dietary phosphorus restrictions have largely ignored the large variation in bioavailability among different sources of phosphorus. There is fast-growing interest in the use of plant proteins for kidney disease patients due to a variety of proposed potential benefits – including reduced phosphorus bioavailability. However, few studies have measured phosphorus bioavailability from various plant protein sources, and particularly novel plant protein products, nor their in vivo effects on mineral metabolism. Such data are needed as a foundation to support evidence-based recommendations for incorporation of specific types of plant protein in the diets of patients with CKD.
Dr. B. Pam Ismail, University of Minnesota
Dr. Pam Ismail, is a Professor at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota. She is the founder and director of the Plant Protein Innovation Center. Dr. Ismail has over 20 years of experience in Food Chemistry research focused on analytical chemistry, protein chemistry, and chemistry and fate of bioactive food constituents. Her research focuses on chemical characterization and enhancement of functionality, safety, bioavailability, and bioactivity of food proteins, following novel processing and analytical approaches. She is the recipient of a “Distinguished Teaching Award” and an “Outstanding Professor Award”.
Pea Protein: A Path Forward
Pea protein is gaining momentum in the marketplace due to several advantages compared to traditional protein ingredients including sustainable agricultural system, non-GMO production, and low occurrence of allergenicity. However, pea protein lags behind soy protein in terms of functionality, nutritional quality, and flavor. This presentation will cover our efforts in enhancing the viability of pea protein through optimization of extraction technologies, protein modification, and breeding. Specifically, the presentation will highlight the protein structural and functional properties as impacted by extraction, functionalization, and breeding.
Dr. Juliana Maria Leite Nobrega de Moura Bell, University of California Davis
Dr. de Moura Bell research includes the development and application of environmentally friendly technologies to replace the incumbent technology for extracting and fractionating of major food components such as oil, protein, and carbohydrates. Her goal is to develop structure/function-based processes to produce foods that will improve human health, with the translation of these processes into the industrial realm being the ultimate goal of her work. Specifically, she is interested in bio-processing techniques such as enzyme-assisted aqueous extraction, fermentation, and less harsh techniques like supercritical and subcritical extractions. Her laboratory research interests include: 1) Scaling-up extraction and downstream recovery processes from laboratory to pilot-scale; 2) Determining the effects of processing conditions (extraction, heat treatment, enzymatic modifications and recovery strategies) on the functionality and biological activities of food components, and 3) The conversion of agricultural waste streams/food processing by-products into high added-value compounds.
Enzyme-assisted aqueous extraction: a bioguided approach to improve the functional and biological properties of almond proteins
The enzyme-assisted aqueous extraction process (EAEP) is an environmentally friendly processing strategy that uses mechanical disruption of cells, water, and enzymes to simultaneously extract oil, proteins, and carbohydrates from several food matrices/byproducts without the use of flammable solvents. Our research group elucidated the effects of key extraction conditions on oil and protein extractability, oil recovery, functional (solubility, emulsification and foaming properties) and biological (in vitro digestibility) properties of almond protein extracts. The use of enzyme and alkaline pH in the EAEP resulted in structural protein modifications leading to higher oil and protein extractability and the production of a weaker emulsion (cream), resulting in increased recovery (93%) of the extracted oil. Importantly, the use of enzyme during the extraction significantly affected the functional and biological properties of the extracted protein. Higher protein solubility and emulsification capacity of EAEP skim proteins were observed at acidic pH (5.0), where almond protein solubility is hindered. Similarly, the same extraction conditions leading to higher extractability, higher oil recovery, and higher protein solubility also produced proteins with higher in vitro digestibility (88 vs. 79%) and higher antioxidant properties.
Dr. James House, University of Manitoba
Dr. House is Professor and Head (since 2009) of the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba. He completed his Ph.D. in amino acid nutrition and metabolism from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 1996. Since arriving at the University of Manitoba in 1998, he has maintained research programs in 3 primary areas: 1) understanding factors regulating sulphur amino acid metabolism in animals; 2) sustainable egg production systems, including novel value-added egg products; and 3) determining factors influencing the quality of dietary proteins. His research program has trained 35 graduate students and 10 post-doctoral fellows, as well as over 40 undergraduate research assistants. His research program has advanced our understanding of factors affecting the utilization of plant- and animal-based protein sources in the human diet. He has received awards from the Canadian Society of Animal Science, the Canadian Society of Nutritional Sciences (now the Canadian Nutrition Society), as well as awards for merit and administrative service from the University of Manitoba. In 2018, Dr. House was elected as President for the Canadian Nutrition Society, and currently serves as Past-President. His research program is funded via NSERC Discovery Grants, as well as numerous tripartite funding programs involving industry and government partners.
Positioning plant proteins for human nutrition: Connecting the dots
In order to make protein content claims on foods (e.g. Excellent Source of Protein) in the U.S. and Canada, data must be available to support the quality of the protein. Protein quality generally reflects the amino acid composition of the food in relation to human amino acid requirements, as well as the extent to which the protein is digested and absorbed. Several methods have been positioned for determining protein quality, including the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS; United States), the Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER; Canada) and the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS; WHO/FAO proposal). Each of the methods has relative advantages and disadvantages for the substantiation of protein content claims. The primary disadvantage relates to the fact that all 3 methods rely on in vivo bioassays (rat or swine models) to generate data required by regulatory agencies, posing challenges to industries seeking to position new protein sources. The use of in vitro methods to measure protein and amino acid digestibility does offer a new approach to substantiate quality claims, but further research is required to validate these methods in advance of regulatory consideration.
Dr. Robert Stupar, University of Minnesota
Bob Stupar is a Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. He received his B.S. from the University of Minnesota (Biology) and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics). Bob holds a 75% research and 25% teaching appointment. His research program focuses on legume genomics, specializing in soybean gene function, genetic resources development, and applying modern genetic approaches to crop improvement. Bob is recognized for developing unique methods to study genome diversity both in natural and mutant populations. His work is now expanding into pea genetics and genomics, focusing on winter survival and protein quality traits. Bob is an active member of the scientific community and was recently elected as a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America.
Developing pea for winter cover and advancing market outcomes in Minnesota
Pea presents unique opportunities for Minnesota farmers. First, pea is one of few annual crop legume species that is capable of surviving harsh winters and is thus a good candidate for winter cover cropping. Second, increased consumer demand for plant protein makes pea a potential spring-sown cash crop. To meet these opportunities, a pea breeding and genetics program is being developed at the University of Minnesota. To identify the best germplasm for Minnesota, we are evaluating a small collection of diverse genotypes that have previously survived other northern environments. Furthermore, we will assess the physiological mechanisms of winter survival using field and controlled environment conditions, and work to develop tools to rapidly assess the likelihood of winter survival across wider germplasm collections. To advance pea protein opportunities, we will develop high-throughput platforms for assessing protein functionality. This will be coupled with genetic association techniques to identify markers that predict the functionality traits. These efforts will enable data-driven decisions for the breeding pipeline that facilitate variety development tailored for Minnesota growers.