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Characterizing plant proteins as they undergo extrusion
Plant-based proteins are an increasing area of interest for consumers. Yet, little is known about the transformations plant proteins undergo during the extrusion process: their glass transition, their denaturalization/depolymerization, and their behavior/interactions with starch and other components in forming the continuous matrix that underlays the structure of extruded puffed snacks.
Thus, our aim with this project is to develop a model to better understand the processing of plant proteins in extrusion, much as we have for starch. We want to screen plant protein ingredients and characterize plant protein dense raw materials under direct expanded extrusion conditions to help develop snack products.
Ideally, we are looking for an integrated, multidisciplinary research team–with expertise in plant protein characterization, processing, and integration/interpretation–to help us develop this model. But we are still interested in hearing from groups that may have only some, but not all, of these capabilities. We would also consider licensing of existing technology (analytical, ingredient solution, processing technology).
Target outputs from the collaboration include:
- An understanding of the molecular changes in the proteins and matrix as we process them, and how those changes impact the finished product.
- A model that optimizes the incorporation of the protein into snacks/food products produced by extrusion.
- The capability to design ingredients and protein dense raw materials formulations.
Deadline: May 31, 2022