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High protein pasta

Grant number: 23/02529-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: July 01, 2023 - June 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Manuella Souza Silverio
Grantee:Manuella Souza Silverio
Host Company:Silverio & Rigon Produtos Alimentícios Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de massas alimentícias
City: São José do Rio Preto
Pesquisadores principais:
Talita Balansin Rigon
Associated research grant:20/13756-0 - High protein pasta, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):23/06995-6 - High protein pasta, BP.PIPE
23/06977-8 - High protein pasta, BP.PIPE


In Phase-1, the objectives were to produce single cell protein (SCP) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 7754 and Candida utilis Y-900; analyze the technical-economic viability of those bioprocesses; estimate production costs for large scale operation; and to make prototypes of high protein pasta using SCP from the above-mentioned yeasts. Briefly, the C. utilis Y-900 bioprocess had more potential for commercial competitiveness and its pasta prototypes had the same acceptability as those made with S. cerevisiae ATCC 7754. Production costs with C. utilis Y-900 were estimated between R$ 21-40/kgPCU-1, which were calculated using experimental data from the bioprocesses carried out in Phase-1, meaning those data did not represent optimized processes. By the end of the project, it was possible to infer that developing a downstream process (DSP) for reducing total nucleic acids (TNA) from SCP is more challenging than achieving high efficiency in cultivating cells (bioprocess operation). Thus, in this project Phase-2 the objectives are: to develop a DSP with high efficiency in reducing TNA and protein recovery, aiming to a scalable process for commercial production and a high nutritional quality product; to develop high protein pasta, gluten-free high protein pasta and high protein rice analogue formulas by using SCP of C. utilis Y-900 as protein source. Results from Phase-1 and methods from literature will be used as reference for developing a DSP in Phase-2. Process conditions will be analyzed and optimized by applying the surface response methodology. The resulting SCP will be evaluated according to its nutritional and functional properties (solubility, water/fat absorption, emulsifying, foaming and gelling activities). SCP resulting from the optimized DSP will be used as protein source for developing the above-mentioned food formulas, aiming to protein content above 15% (mass of protein/mass of rice analogue) and 25% (mass of protein/mass of pasta). Other ingredients will be selected for improvement of product quality (cooking and texture) and their concentrations will be optimized as well. Food formulas will be evaluated in pilot production, so reproducibility, product quality and viability for commercial scale production can be evaluated. The final activity in project Phase-2 will be a sensory evaluation of food formulas by voluntary consumers. A comparison will be made between high protein food products and those without any protein addition (control). Product samples will be served with side dishes, such as sauces and seasoning, so the consumption experience will be simulated, as well as the purchase intent. This project will have intensive demand for laboratory facilities, for both DSP and food formulas development. As a solution for such demand, the company plans to hire third party facilities under contracts that allow the company's researchers to execute themselves the research and development activities. Some facility demands consist in isolated activities, such as characterization and analytical procedures, and those will be entirely executed by third party laboratories. Finally, this company has identified and validated some market hypothesis: there is demand for high protein vegan products, but it is also desirable for them to be clean label and functional foods; there is market potential for high value added products, which suggests that going to market as an ingredient supplier company is not the only option; there is viability to go to market through food services, so the ratio scale/costs could be optimized in initial stages of the company's operation. Achieving success in this project could be decisive for the company's competitiveness in the market of alternative protein, in both Brazilian and global scenarios. (AU)

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