Interest in production of plant-based protein foods from Swedish legumes is increasing. Protein gelation is an important step in production of various foods. RISE together with SLU is currently studying the gelforming properties of fababean proteins. Understanding the mechanisms that control protein gelation is important for designing new Product.
Purpose and goal
Within this Formas project 2017-00426, we develop knowledges that will contribute to the development of new plant-based foods made from Swedish local ingredients.
Climate change and population growth are challenges that lead to an increased need for protein-rich plant-based foods that can be produced locally. There are a number of traditional foods based on soybean - an excellent legume with a high protein content and good taste but with limited opportunities for cultivation in Sweden. It is therefore interesting to be able to use protein-rich crops in similar foods that are already grown to a greater extent in Scandinavia today. One such example is the faba bean, which is currently grown on about 25,000 hectares but which is mainly used as animal feed.
In projects to develop blue cheese and yoghurt like products from faba beans, researchers at RISE noted that faba beans had much in common with soybeans but could not directly replace them. Knowledge is required about the properties of the faba bean and how these can be controlled to give a food the desired texture and consistency.
The project investigates molecular mechanisms and interactions between different protein fractions and between proteins, fats, fibers and starch. In addition, it is investigated how factors such as temperature, pH and various gelling agents affect gelling and gel properties.
This survey is of great value as basic knowledge on conditions and mechanisms for gelling legume products would lead to new opportunities for sustainable food production, e.g. plant-based- yogurt and cheese. In addition, the new knowledge can contribute to more consumption of plant-based proteins by reducing the environmental impact from over-consumption of animal protein. It can also lead to increased cultivation of legumes, sustainable nitrogen-fixing crops that require less fertilization, and create new jobs in Swedish agriculture and the food sector.
Fababean protein gelation properties
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