Food proteins as potential carriers for phenolics

Promovendus ing. MC (Maxime) Bohin MSc
Promotor H (Harry) Gruppen
Copromotor JP (Jean-Paul) Vincken
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratory of Food Chemistry

vr 25 oktober 2013 13:30 tot 15:00

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

Food proteins binding phenolics can improve the taste properties of phenolic-enriched food for health

Phenolics are naturally occurring food components (e.g. in wine, tea or fruits) generally described as beneficial for human health. Enrichment of foods with phenolics may be a potential tool for dietary-mediated disease prevention, but is primarily limited by the bitterness and astringency of phenolics. Using food proteins as carriers for phenolics, thereby possibly limiting their taste perception, might be a solution to this limitation.  In this thesis, we investigate the structural features of both animal food proteins and phenolics influencing their interactions with each other.

Sequestering phenolics with a food protein effectively reduces their bitterness perception.
Maxime C. Bohin

Furthermore, the applicability of promising food protein-phenolic pairs for tackling bitterness is described. Important drivers for the interaction are an open protein structure rich in proline (e.g. as in milk β-casein) and a flexible phenolic structure containing a gallic acid group (e.g. as in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an abundant phenolic in green tea). Moreover, we show that food proteins-phenolic pairs with good binding properties can effectively reduce the bitterness perception of phenolics, which is promising for further food applications.