Applications of Enzyme Technology to Enhance Transition to Plant Proteins: A Review

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As the plant-based food market grows, demand for plant protein is also increasing. Proteins are a major component in foods and are key to developing desired structures and textures. Seed storage proteins are the main plant proteins in the human diet. They are abundant in, for example, legumes or defatted oilseeds, which makes them an excellent candidate to use in the development of novel plant-based foods. However, they often have low and inflexible functionalities, as in nature they are designed to remain densely packed and inert within cell walls until they are needed during germination. Enzymes are often used by the food industry, for example, in the production of cheese or beer, to modify ingredient properties. Although they currently have limited applications in plant proteins, interest in the area is exponentially increasing. The present review first considers the current state and potential of enzyme utilization related to plant proteins, including uses in protein extraction and post-extraction modifications. Then, relevant opportunities and challenges are critically discussed. The main challenges relate to the knowledge gap, the high cost of enzymes, and the complexity of plant proteins as substrates. The overall aim of this review is to increase awareness, highlight challenges, and explore ways to address them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2518
Issue number13
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 by the authors.

    Research areas

  • analogues, cross-linking, deamidation, enzyme-assisted extraction, plant-based foods, protein functionality, protein hydrolysis

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