The research in the field of food protein chemistry, under supervision by Peter Wierenga has 3 main lines: (1) Chemical and techno-functional characterization of proteins from (novel) plant courses and their extraction, (2) Analysis of enzymatic and non-enzymatic modification of proteins (e.g. Maillard reactions), (3) Analysis of protein hydrolysates, with quantitation of the peptides, to study the production of hydrolysates and/or the action of proteases.
Peter Wierenga has finished his PhD in Wageningen on the study on interfacial and foam properties of proteins in relation to their molecular properties. This research has since then continued in the laboratory of Food Chemistry where he is leading the research related to proteins. The combination of chemical analytical techniques and small scale analysis of foam and emulsion properties has resulted in new insights to predict and describe these techno-functional properties of proteins.
The work on proteins in the laboratory of Food Chemistry has a strong focus on plant proteins, where also extraction and analysis of non-protein components is important. However, for the setting up of methods and testing of new concepts often traditional protein sources (whey , egg) are used.
We have set-up analyses to determine the modifications due to Maillard induced reactions. These were applied in the analysis for instance of pet-food.
Over the past 12 years, we have worked hard to develop methods to analyse and describe the composition of protein hydrolysates. This work is linked to understanding the process of protein hydrolysis by enzymes such as used in industry, or in in vitro simulation of in vivo digestive processes.