Research Priorities

Top 6 Research Priorities

These top 6 priorities reflect changes discussed in the most recent Technical Committee meeting (March 23rd, 2021).

  1. Screen, identify, and characterize the flavor, functionality, and nutrition of emerging plant proteins as impacted by various extraction and processing conditions in comparison to common protein ingredients
  2. Determine flavor and protein interactions in various protein sources and in different food systems
  3. Investigate cleaner plant protein processing techniques that have less environmental impact, while preserving or improving functionality, flavor, and nutritional quality
  4. Identify ways to mitigate off flavors while maintaining textural properties
  5. Investigate potential increases in functionality via blending of plant proteins, while maintaining or improving nutritional quality
  6. Enhance protein functionality, nutrition, and flavor through agricultural technology

1. Application

Primary research focus areas related to flavor, functionality, and nutrition

  • Determine the impact of processing on nutritional quality
  • Evaluate the nutritional value (PDCAAS) for emerging proteins
  • Determine the impact of replacing (wholly or partially) traditional proteins with novel plant proteins on nutrition, physiology, flavor, and textural properties
  • Investigate potential increases in nutritional value and functionality via blending of plant proteins
  • Determine flavor and protein interactions in various protein sources and in different food systems
  • Identify ways to mitigate off flavors while maintaining textural properties
  • Functionalize novel proteins and determine impact on flavor, functionality, and nutrition
  • Identify unique functionality and applications of novel plant proteins in comparison to common protein ingredients
  • Develop alternate/simpler method to evaluate digestibility and amino acid score

2. Downstream Processing and Formulation

Primary research focus areas related to extraction methods, unique processing, co-products, food systems, high value end use

  • Characterize structural/functional properties of novel proteins upon isolation and processing
  • Identify high-value end use (e.g. encapsulation; agglomeration)
  • Transform defatted meals of oilseeds into value-added co-product of equivalent or higher value than the oil
  • Investigate novel protein extraction techniques that are solvent free and can be labeled as organic (while looking at flavor, nutrition and functionality)
  • Determine the efficiency and recovery rate of electrostatic dry separation for the production of protein concentrates (while looking at flavor, nutrition and functionality)
  • Study the interactions of novel proteins with other macromolecules in food systems and determine impact on digestibility, functionality, and sensory qualities
  • Investigate the impact of non-thermal processing (e.g. cold plasma) on protein structure and function
  • Evaluate bioactivity of peptides derived from various sources

3. Production

Primary research focus areas related to breeding, sustainability of the supply, and crop diversity

  • Breed to enhance protein quality
  • Determine the impact of crop diversity on flavor, nutritional and functional quality of the protein
  • Develop sustainable supply chain for various protein crops
  • Assess market value

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