Pea protein isolate characteristics modulate functional properties of pea protein–cranberry polyphenol particles

Renee Cilliers Strauch, Mary Ann Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Plant polyphenols have a natural binding affinity for proteins, and their interaction can be exploited to form diverse aggregate particles. Protein–polyphenol particles utilized as food ingredients allow consumers to incorporate more health-benefiting plant bioactives into their diets. The functional properties of the protein–polyphenol particles can be influenced by many factors, including complexation conditions and starting material properties. Here, cranberry polyphenols extracted from pomace were complexed with nine pea protein isolate starting materials with different physical (particle size and protein content) and chemical (hydrolyzed and oxidized) properties to investigate the impact of protein characteristics on particle functionality. Chemical differences between proteins affected polyphenol binding; oxidized protein isolate (specifically, VegOtein N) bound 12%–27% more polyphenols than other isolates. Polyphenol binding to proteins decreased digestion rates in vitro, averaging 25% slower gastric (pepsin) digestion and a 35% slower intestinal (pancreatin) digestion. Physical differences in protein starting materials affected digestibility; isolate with the largest particle size (specifically, Nutralys F85G) produced particles with the lowest digestion rate. Solubility was impacted by both the process of forming particles and by polyphenol binding; control particles were 56% less soluble, and protein–polyphenol particles up to 75% less soluble, than unmodified proteins. The solubility of unmodified protein isolate starting materials varied widely according to the manufacturing process, but, after complexation, protein–polyphenol particles produced from all protein sources exhibited a similar depressed level of solubility. The desired functional properties of the protein–polyphenol particle food ingredients will be considerably influenced by the properties of the protein isolate starting material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3740-3751
Number of pages12
JournalFood Science and Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • by-products
  • cranberry polyphenols
  • digestion
  • pea protein isolate
  • solubility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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