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Protein isolate from amaranthus (Amaranthus cruentus L, BRS-Alegria): functional properties of the protein and identification of bioactive peptides

Grant number: 07/03896-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2007 - February 28, 2010
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal researcher:José Alfredo Gomes Arêas
Grantee:José Alfredo Gomes Arêas
Home Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Cardiovascular diseases are the main responsible for all diseases in the twentieth century and are the major death cause in Brazil. There are a wealth of epidemiologic and clinic evidences supporting the association between cardiovascular diseases, diet, dislipidemia, cholesterol and triacylglycerols concentrations in blood. The human organism synthesizes most of the body cholesterol, being its control mainly due to the regulation of the capture of low density lipoproteins (LDL) the major endogenous transport particle. The increase of LDLs concentration, and the increase in the cholesterol they carry, is the major risk factor for atherosclerosis. We demonstrate the hypocholesterolemic effect of some specific food, being the amaranth, specially its protein moiety, (Amaranthus caudatus, A. cruentus, among other species) the more remarkable. The mechanisms governing this action, however, are still unclear. As amaranth is not a food habit in Brazil, its desirable the introduction of this grain or of its protein in our diet. Another important point is to explain how it works biologically to gain insight on atherosclerosis control. This project proposes to address these two major questions by studying the functional properties of amaranth protein in order to introduce it as a food ingredient, and to investigate some mechanisms behind amaranth protein in lowering cholesterol levels. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FERREIRA, TANIA APARECIDA; GOMES AREAS, JOSE ALFREDO. Calcium bioavailability of raw and extruded amaranth grains. FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, v. 30, n. 2, p. 532-538, APR-JUN 2010. Web of Science Citations: 12.
VAZ, L. C. M. A.; AREAS, J. A. G. Recovery and upgrading bovine rumen protein by extrusion: Effect of lipid content on protein disulphide cross-linking, solubility and molecular weight. MEAT SCIENCE, v. 84, n. 1, p. 39-45, JAN 2010. Web of Science Citations: 7.
FROTA, K. M. G.; MENDONCA, S.; SALDIVA, P. H. N.; CRUZ, R. J.; AREAS, J. A. G. Cholesterol-Lowering Properties of Whole Cowpea Seed and Its Protein Isolate in Hamsters. Journal of Food Science, v. 73, n. 9, p. H235-H240, Nov. 2008. Web of Science Citations: 36.

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