PhD defence

Dry fractionation for sustainable production of plant protein concentrates

PhD candidate ms. PJM (Pascalle) Pelgrom
Promotor RM (Remko) Boom
Co-promotor MAI (Maarten) Schutyser
Organisation Wageningen University, Food Process Engineering

Fri 6 March 2015 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362


Legumes are a sustainable source of proteins, which can be industrial purified for a variety of applications in food products. However, the conventional wet separation process consumes large amounts of water and energy and decreases the functionality of the proteins. This project focused on a dry separation process for legumes, like pea, in which legumes are separated in a protein- and a starch-rich fraction. For pea, the process is based on the detachment of starch granules from a protein matrix by a milling step followed by a separation step. Guidelines are developed to increase the yield and the purity of the dry-enriched protein concentrates by analysis of the mechanical properties of pea and by optimization of the dry separation process. Moreover, research showed that, despite the low purity, the protein concentrates possessed interesting technological properties to be applied in liquid as well as solid protein-rich products, like high protein drinks or meat replacers.


  1. Carbon partitioning between starch and fatty acids in Scenedesmus obliquus is caused by competition for a common carbon pre-cursor. (this thesis)
  2. A high photosynthetic efficiency during nitrogen starvation is more important than high oil contents, when screening for oleaginous microalgae. (this thesis)
  3. Biodiversity is important to inspire the science of the future.
  4. Technological bottlenecks should be solved by biological solutions.
  5. As long as meat replacers are called meat replacers they will never replace meat.
  6. To realize a sustainable economy, a change in habits is just as important as technological progress.