Linking Protein Structure to Function and Applications Presentation

Originally Published: May 8, 2015
Last Updated: March 10, 2021

“The Protein Bridge: Linking Protein Structure to Function and Applications” was presented at the 2015 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar by Julie Emsing Mann, MSc, Adjacencies Research Staff Scientist, The Hershey Company.

Abstract: Proteins are complex molecules with a broad range of structures, functionality and attributes. Film-forming, emulsifying, gelling, viscosity enhancing or structure creating: these are just some of the attributes possessed by proteins that make them invaluable in food and beverage formulations. Understanding the link from structure to function allows for a tailoring of protein for desired functionality. An examination will be made of the physiochemical properties of proteins and factors to take into consideration when assessing proteins for various applications. A glimpse at some recent developments in specialized proteins will also be provided.

Excerpt from the written summary of this presentation: The target level of protein influences whether to fortify with a protein isolate, protein concentrate or whole food protein product. Potential claims might be 5g of protein to make a “good source” of protein claim; 10g to make an “excellent source” claim; or simply “x grams of protein.”

If the protein does not meet protein quality standards (PDCAAS), as is the case with many plant proteins, then several proteins or additional grains may need to be combined to correct for protein quality, said Mann.

When selecting from the vast array of protein ingredients, cost and functionality are critical considerations. Mann explained: “The formulator needs to ask, what functional attributes will the protein provide? Is the ingredient readily available? Will the finished product be cost competitive, and is there price volatility?”

Click here to view the written summary “Linking Protein Structure to Function & Applications” of this presentation.

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