Soybean production has grown significantly to attend the total demand of the product, which is widely used for various purposes due to be an important source of lipids and proteins. Soybean is, in fact, the most important oleaginous plant grown in the world, and this is due to the high nutritional and functional values of its protein fraction. Its economic importance reflects in high consumption of soybean oil obtained by extraction process using hexane as solvent, which is the most widely used solvent for extraction of the lipid fraction of most oleaginous plants. Its use, however, leads to numerous disadvantages and consequences of its fossil origin and its high flammability, concerning their own users and also in relation to environmental issues. The vegetable oil extraction with ethanol is an attractive alternative compared to the use of petroleum solvents such as hexane. Advantageously, ethanol stands out due to several characteristics and especially for its large supply in Brazil. The proposed solvent obtained from sugarcane puts the country in a unique position, eliminating its dependence on fossil fuels for the international market, since hexane is considered by environmental protection agencies, one of the largest responsible for the greenhouse gas effect.Thus, this undergraduate research project aims to study the impact of process conditions on the solubility of protein fraction of soybean subjected to oil extraction process using ethanol as solvent. The process conditions to be evaluated in this study are temperature and hydration of ethanol. The evaluation of the solubility of proteins is extremely important. In fact, it allows observing the intensity and magnitude of protein denaturation due to heat treatment undergone by the material. In fact, the acceptance of protein ingredients by the food industry is not only due to its nutritional qualities, but also to their functional properties, which defines the possible applications of the commercial product. It is worth mentioning that this undergraduate research project is associated with the Research Support Project No.: 2009/17855-3, coordinated by the Advisor of this proposal. In addition, this project includes topics relevant to the project theme BIOEN (2008/56258-8) coordinated by Prof. Antonio José de Almeida Meirelles FEA-UNICAMP.
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