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How do structural changes of dairy proteins affect the functionality of bioactive compounds in complex food matrices?


Milk proteins represent around 30% of the total protein ingested by adult from western countries. Although in their native state these proteins have as one of their functions the transport of molecules, they are present in foods in various structural states, reflecting the diversity of processes applied by food industries. Even if the impact of the structural changes of milk proteins on the technical-functional properties of foods (e.g. viscosity) is known, the understanding of their effect on the functional properties (health claims) of these foods is still under construction. It is agreed that food matrices are not inert to the addition of bioactive compounds; however, generally, the development of functional foods is based on the simple incorporation of these compounds into food matrices, ignoring the interaction between the food matrix and the bioactive compound. Thus, to guide the development of functional foods and ensure the associated health claims, it is crucial to understand how the structural changes induced to protein-rich food matrices affect the biological activity of bioactive compounds. In this framework, this research project proposes a reverse engineering strategy to generate knowledge that allows predicting the behavior of carotenoids in protein-rich matrices submitted to different industrial processes. By means of the association of results obtained in real and model matrices it is expected to establish generic rules for the behavior (interaction/biological activity) of carotenoids in complex multi-protein matrices. In addition to the scientific community, the knowledge generated by this project will also interest companies in the area of functional foods, as well as regulatory committees. (AU)

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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)
NUNES, LAUANE; TAVARES, GUILHERME M.. Thermal treatments and emerging technologies: Impacts on the structure and techno-functional properties of milk proteins. TRENDS IN FOOD SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, v. 90, p. 88-99, . (17/09214-4)
VIDOTTO, DANILO C.; TAVARES, GUILHERME M.. Impact of Dry Heating in an Alkaline Environment on the Structure and Foaming Properties of Whey Proteins. Food and Bioprocess Technology, v. 13, n. 10, . (17/09214-4, 18/09304-6, 18/03822-5)
MANTOVANI, RAPHAELA ARAUJO; HAMON, PASCALINE; ROUSSEAU, FLORENCE; TAVARES, GUILHERME M.; MERCADANTE, ADRIANA ZERLOTTI; CROGUENNEC, THOMAS; BOUHALLAB, SAID. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying interactions between caseins and lutein. Food Research International, v. 138, n. B, . (17/26237-8, 18/18374-8, 13/07914-8, 17/09214-4)

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