At the Bioco processing plant, enzymatic protein hydrolysis (EPH) is used to solubilise and break down proteins into peptides, valorising chicken rest raw materials into chicken protein hydrolysates (CPH). Processing through EPH provides new and better opportunities than current technologies for re-cycling of proteins into foods, as protein hydrolysates can show nutritional, sensory and/or biological activity useful in innovative food products. Two markets stand out to benefit from a high protein diet: the sports market, and the elderly. Increased protein intake is important for growth and maintenance of muscle during exercise, and especially important to prevent loss of bone and skeletal muscle mass in the elderly.
The main objective of the HydroProt project is to produce at least three high-value, safe and market-optimized CPH based products, with a focus on markets benefiting from a higher protein intake, exemplified by sport & fitness and elderly.
An important aim is to gain better insight into how the digestion changes with age and if protein digestibility increases using hydrolysates in our diet. CPH have been subjected to in vitro digestion models simulating digestive processes in both adults and elderly (>65 y), and the results indicate that the CPH are equally digested. A human study has been conducted to confirm in vitro findings by measuring the uptake of amino acids in young adults and elderly after ingestion of a drink with added CPH or whey protein concentrate. The results show that the increase in free amino acids in the blood after ingestion of either KPH or whey protein is just as fast in both adults and the elderly. However, a higher increase in essential amino acids was observed after intake of whey protein, due to the higher content of essential amino acids in whey. Experiments with CPH added to sausage show that the CPH protect against harmful oxidation during in vitro digestion under adult, but not elderly, conditions.
Evaluations of CPH with respect to biological activity have been performed using in vitro laboratory-based bioactivity tests. Results show that the CPH have the potential to reduce blood pressure and increase muscle- and bone cell growth. The beneficial effects vary with processing conditions (type of enzyme used) but are preserved during in vitro digestion under both adult and elderly conditions. Small peptides in a certain size range seem to be the most bioactive ones, but it remains to see if they are absorbed in the body and exert beneficial effects in humans.
CPH?s with vastly different process characteristics have been used to deep-characterize and understand more about the sensory properties. CPH?s have been evaluated using both a highly trained sensory panel and semi-trained professionals at Nortura and Norilia, using several sensory methodologies. The sensory characteristics and the chemical qualities of the CPH?s have been compared, aiming at exposing if, and how essential chemical differences are linked to processing factors and sensory characteristics. The sensory panel has also characterized sausages with added CPH. The results show that several sensory attributes change when CPH are included. Especially the colour, texture properties and taste intensity are affected by both the level of CPH and the type of enzymes used in the hydrolysate process.
A web survey aiming at exploring consumers? attitudes and barriers towards use of alternative protein sources in different food categories has been performed. The survey outcome is further used in creative focus groups representing elderly,? young urban? as well as ?sports? consumer groups. Results from the survey and focus groups shows a trend towards more scepticism for protein-enriched food products among the ?sports? consumer as compared to the elderly consumers. The three groups also have a different view of the term sustainability, where the young group are highly interested while the elderly have a lower focus and relate it to economical sustainability rather than environmental sustainability. The elderly are more driven by the health aspect of protein-enriched products than the young consumers are.
Based on the consumer studies and results from internal processes at Nortura and Norilia, a selection of the most interesting food group candidates has been done. Pilot scale initial tests of inclusion of CPH into food products has been performed on several different food product categories (e.g. burgers, soups, spread, pasta, pastries).
To facilitate the transition of knowledge from research and industry, to lay the basis for the correct commercial choices, and to provide a basis for concept development, several innovation forums including all partners have been executed. Further, Nortura, Norilia and Nofima has had a series of product-oriented workshops. Several scientific publications are under way, and one MSc thesis is delivered as a result of the project.
Gjennom Hydroprot har Norilia har fått mye kunnskap om de sensoriske og funksjonelle egenskapene til kyllinghydrolysatet. Dette brukes nå videre i utvikling av produkter til det amerikanske markedet. Med våre samarbeidspartnere i USA har Norilia som mål å utvikle et konsept innen Active Performance Nutrition. Her skal kyllinghydrolysatet være proteinkilden.
Nortura annually produces 12,000 tons of residues (plus products) from mechanical deboning of chicken, containing approx. 15 % protein of high nutritional value. This is currently sold as cheap feed ingredients. Norilia is in the process of building a plant, where enzymatic protein hydrolysis (EPH) will be used to solubilise and digest proteins from plus products into protein hydrolysates. Processing through EPH provides new and better opportunities than current technologies for re-cycling proteins into foods, as protein hydrolysates can show e.g. nutritional, sensory and/or biological activity useful in e.g. innovative food products. Two markets stand out to benefit from a high protein diet: the sport and fitness market, and the elderly. Increased protein-intake is important for growth and maintenance of muscle during exercise, and for prevention of loss of bone and skeletal muscle mass in the elderly. Hydrolysed proteins have also been proven to be taken up easily by the body. These markets display great growth potential, and are willing to pay for functional foods. Thus, there is a unique window of opportunity for Norilia and Nortura: converting low-value plus products into high-value ingredients and foods for higher paying markets.
To reach the project's overall objective, we must explore the following: Do EPH products hold chemical, sensory or bioactive properties that the industry can take advantage of? Do EPH products retain their biological and nutritional properties through our digestive system, and can they cause positive effects on muscle and bone? What do consumers think about EPH-based products? What products are they interested in, and are there potential barriers to consider during the launch of such products?
The project will provide Norilia and Nortura with openings to develop new ingredients for the food industry and innovative food products for consumers. This will give them opportunities to penetrate new markets and to expand their business model