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Development of mixed protein gels incorporating vitamins D3 and B12 using in vitro digestion as a tool of rational design

Grant number: 19/08466-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Technology
Principal Investigator:Samantha Cristina de Pinho
Grantee:Marluci Ghiraldi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):21/14872-6 - Microstructural analysis and semi-dynamic in vitro digestion of mixed protein gels of whey and soy protein isolates, BE.EP.DR


The world population present an increase in life expectancy, which can generate opportunities in a niche market: the niche of senior consumers (consumers over 60). The human body can undergo significant changes over time, which change the physiological functions of your body, and can lead to changes in the absorption of certain micronutrients (for example, vitamins D and B12) as well as loss of muscle mass. To meet the nutritional deficiencies of this specific public, a proposal is the development of food matrices that incorporate proteins and vitamins simultaneously. In this context, the present proposal has as a central idea the development of gelled matrices based on mixtures of animal protein (Whey Protein Isolate - WPI) and vegetable (Soy Protein Isolate - SPI), incorporating vitamins B12 and D3. During this development, the influence of the microstructure of protein mixtures (mixed protein gels) produced on the bioaccessibility of protein digestion products (amino acids) and vitamins will be determined, assuming that they are ingested by senior consumers (> 60 years old). To achieve this objective, in vitro static digestion techniques will be used as a rational design tool. Due to the known low solubility of commercial SPI, the production process will first be studied, determining the parameters (mechanical agitation and ultrasonication) that will be used to hydrate the SPI in the pre-gelation stage, through protein solubility analyzes, mean size and particle size distribution. Next, the in vitro static digestion adjusted to gastrointestinal conditions of the elderly, as a rational design tool, will be used for this system. The most promising formulations in terms of protein hydrolysis and bioaccessibility of vitamins D3 and B12 at the endpoints of the stomach and intestinal stages will be characterized in terms of mechanical, rheological and morphological properties through water retention capacity analysis, uniaxial compression tests, small amplitude oscillatory assays, laser confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and image analysis. Finally, an in-depth in vitro digestion of mixed protein gels, including the oral, gastric and intestinal phases, will be obtained using digestion parameters set for seniors. (AU)

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