Food Chemistry

Protein (bio)chemistry

The behaviour of proteins in foods is an important factor in the processing of foods and has large implications for the resulting food quality. The properties of each protein are primarily determined by its molecular structure.

Description of theme 

Since proteins vary widely in their structure, their functional properties will diverge accordingly. Additional factors of influence for the functionality of proteins are isolation procedure, (physico-)chemical or enzymatic modification, and the composition and processing route of the food in which they are applied. Knowledge of structure-function relationships of proteins in foods, and the interaction between proteins and other food constituents form the basis for the development of modern processes, of new ingredients and of higher quality products.

Our aim is to gain knowledge of the effect of processing on the biochemical and physicochemical properties of proteins in raw materials, ingredients and foods, in relation to their functional and nutritional properties

Current research projects deal with the behaviour of

  • Potato proteins,
  • Soy proteins
  • (Modified) milk proteins

under various processing conditions. 

To this end proteins and peptides (obtained after enzymatic hydrolysis of proteins) are isolated. Subsequently, we use a multi-technique approach to study the structure and properties of these proteins and peptides. In addition, in our research we work with both purified proteins (peptides) and food-alike mixtures of proteins(peptides) with other components. In this way, for example, we have seen that the solubility behaviour of potato proteins is greatly influenced by specific components in the potato. Also, the foaming and emulsifying behaviour of protein hydrolysates seems to be governed by specific peptides and by synergistic effects between peptides.

Research Projects