PhD guest student in Food Quality and Design Group.
Topic: Plant cell walls structure and porosity in relation to digestibility of legume proteins.
Project duration: (January, 2016 - December, 2019)
There is nowadays an increasing demand for the sustainable supply of plant protein and soybean, being the major source of plant protein in the human diet. The structural features of soybean cotyledons and the way soybeans are cooked and consumed may influence protein digestibility. The cell wall of the soybean cotyledons, like that found in the other legumes, is mainly composed of pectins, which are less degradable upon cooking. Consequently, soybean cotyledon cells are able to keep their intact structure when soybean cooked as whole cotyledons. Recent studies provided evidence that the presence of an intact cell within plant tissues during digestion restricts the access of digestive enzymes and the hydrolysis of intracellular starch in navy beans and red kidney beans, as well as intracellular lipid digestion in almond and hazelnut. However, the modulating role of the cell wall in plant protein digestion has not been dealt with in depth. Theodore this project aims to understand the role of cell wall in regulating soybean protein digestion at small intestinal and the amount of protein entering the colon.