Effect of calcium enrichment on the composition, conformation, and functional properties of soy protein

Peng, Yu; Kyriakopoulou, Konstantina; Keppler, Julia K.; Venema, Paul; Goot, Atze Jan van der


Plant-based diets with sufficient calcium (Ca) supplements are needed to protect the body from Ca deficiencies. The Ca enrichment of protein ingredients during fractionation can provide a new route to increase the Ca content in plant-based products. We, therefore, investigated if the partial replacement of NaOH by Ca(OH)2 during the neutralization step of the fractionation process affects the functional properties of the protein-rich fractions. The protein and oil content of the obtained soy protein-rich fractions (SPFs) were not affected by the use of Ca(OH)2. Moreover, when the Ca content in the SPF was lower than a certain threshold value (6.5 mg Ca/g protein), the functional properties and conformation of SPF did not change significantly. Higher Ca content in the SPF, however, led to protein-rich fractions with larger particle size, higher thermal stability, lower NSI and WHCP values, and weaker gel networks. Thus, any addition of Ca higher than a certain threshold changes the properties of the proteins significantly, which can alter the applicability of the fractions in plant-based food products. Nonetheless, this study showed that with partial replacement of NaOH by Ca(OH)2, the enrichment of SPF with Ca is possible without strongly influencing the SPF properties.