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Structure formation and rheological properties of pea protein-based gels

Klost, Martina; Drusch, Stephan

FG Lebensmitteltechnologie und -materialwissenschaften

Nutritional recommendations for the elderly, but also the general public, include incorporation of plant proteins in the diet, an increase in the intake of Ω-3 fatty acids and an increase in intake of dietary fibre. Protein structure and structuring behaviour of plant proteins differ from that of milk proteins. Therefore, the aim of the presented study was to characterise the structuring process and resulting structure of yoghurt-style gels containing 10% pea protein with and without addition of nutritionally recommended ingredients like rapeseed-oil and/or commercial oat fibre. Rheological measurements were combined with microscopy for sample characterisation. Generally, all studied formulations were able to form acid induced gels via fermentation. The acidification led to a two-phase gelation process resulting in thick gels that showed mainly weak rheological behaviour. Supplementation with oil and/or fibre resulted in an increase of the relative concentration of pea protein in the aqueous phase and led to a strong increase in the complex shear modulus |G*| as well as the maximum structuring velocity d|G*|/dt. These effects need to be considered when tailoring yoghurt-style gels with high consumer acceptance.