Enzymatic protein hydrolysis results in the formation of peptides. Protein hydrolysates are used as ingredients in, for instance, infant formula and sports nutritional products. Despite the common use of protein hydrolysates, little is known on the mechanism by which the peptides are formed. This is partly due to the fact that even in simple systems, hundreds of possible peptides can be formed from one protein.
To enable the description of this very complex process, the new parameter ‘enzyme selectivity’ was developed. This parameter describes the relative rate at which different peptide bonds in the protein are hydrolyzed. Using this approach it was also possible to understand changes in hydrolysate composition that results from changes in system conditions, such as pH or protein concentration.