PROFIBFUN - Knowledge platform: tailoring food protein functionality by rational design of fibrillar structures

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural animal production
    • Agricultural plant production
    • Agriculture, land and farm management
    • Other agriculture, forestry, fisheries and allied sciences
fibrillar structures
Project description

Knowledge platform: tailoring food protein functionality by rational design of fibrillar structures (PROFIBFUN) 

PROFIBFUN will build a knowledge platform that allows it to rationally design fibrillar protein aggregates with technofunctional properties that improve the quality and/or processing of food systems, while having a neutral or positive~ impact on health.

This project brings together a multidisciplinary research consortium with complementary expertise. The general objectives are: (I) the design of functional protein fibrils derived from egg and grain proteins. This involves investigating the impact of process conditions on the formation of amyloid fibrils. Special attention is given to identifying core regions in these amyloid fibrils and their aggregation. This knowledge forms the basis for successfully controlling fibril formation in proteins. (II) evaluating the techno-functional propertypea of fibrillar protein aggregates. (Ill) to investigate the formation, occurrence, and importance of amyloid fibrils in nutritional systems. To investigate this, the complexity of model systems is increased by adding other food constituents or by using mixtures of prote'ines of different origins. (IV) to investigate the digestibility, uptake, and bioactivity of amyloid fibrils from food via “in vitro” systems.

The food industry faces significant challenges. Three of them are the subject of this proposal: (I) the (partial) replacement of animal by vegetable proteins in food (e.g. egg and meat replacement) (II) obtaining clean labels by reducing additives in food, and (II) improving the quality and/or processing of existing and/or new food products (e.g. gluten-free products)