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Development of a specific method (by hydrolysis and deamidation) for the modification of wheat proteins with the objective of providing them with foaming properties

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Funding: Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen "Otto von Guericke" e.V. (AiF), PRO INNO II - "Förderung der Erhöhung der INNOvationskompetenz mittelständischer Unternehmen"
Project Duration: 01.04.2007 - 31.03.2009
Project Manager: Linda Ringer
Homepage: -

The aim of this industrial research project is to increase the amphiphilien character (substance, that are both hydrophilic and lipophilic) of wheat proteins with an economically favourable procedure in order to produce a foamable protein of vegetable origin. This new product finds its main application in confectionary and fine bakery goods. The interest of this innovative protein is not only as a substitute of animal origin foamable proteins (e.g. egg white protein) but also as a compound with new potential technological functionality in the gastronomy, baking and sweet goods industry.

During the production of different starch derivates from wheat, vital gluten (wheat gluten) appears as by-product in a margin of several thousand tons. The majority of it is used in baking goods with no further significant applications in the food industry. Its potential as a vegetable origin protein with foaming properties is enormous.

Foams have an important function in gastronomy as well as in baking and confectionary goods. One of the classical food foaming agents is egg white. Several of its protein fractions (e.g. Globulin, Ovomucin) are located between the egg fluid and the gaseous phase (in the interface) and discharge thus the necessary interfacial tension for the foaming properties. The foaming ability of unmodified vital gluten is almost inexistent. In order to generate foam from this protein basis, specific modifications of its structure are required.

The amino acid sequence (primary structure) and the conformation following from it (secondary, and/or tertiary structure) are crucial for the existing properties of the wheat proteins. A modification of these characteristics is possible by altering the amino acid-composition, the molecule size and/or by the splitting or introduction of hetero components. Thus a special hydrolysis (primarily alkaline but also acidic hydrolysis) of vital gluten might lead to the creation of foaming ability with enough posterior stability. Likewise, an enzymatic modification - primarily a deamidation through e.g. deamidasen - can also lead to the desired aim. The modification of the interfacial properties of wheat gluten by applying these previously mentioned procedures will lead to new technological functionalities of it derivate as a primary goal of this project.