In vitro digestibility and Caco-2 cell bioavailability of sea lettuce (Ulva fenestrata) proteins extracted using pH-shift processing

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  • João P. Trigo, Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science, Sweden
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  • Niklas Engström, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden.
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  • Sophie Steinhagen, Department of Marine Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, University of Gothenburg
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  • Louise Juul Pedersen
  • Hanna Harrysson, Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science, Sweden
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  • Gunilla B. Toth, Department of Marine Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, University of Gothenburg
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  • Henrik Pavia, Department of Marine Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, University of Gothenburg
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  • Nathalie Scheers, Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science, Sweden
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  • Ingrid Undeland, Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science, Sweden
Seaweed is a promising sustainable source of vegan protein as its farming does not require arable land, pesticides/insecticides, nor freshwater supply. However, to be explored as a novel protein source the content and nutritional quality of protein in seaweed need to be improved. We assessed the influence of pH-shift processing on protein degree of hydrolysis (%DH), protein/peptide size distribution, accessibility, and cell bioavailability of Ulva fenestrata proteins after in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. pH-shift processing of Ulva, which concentrated its proteins 3.5-times, significantly improved the %DH from 27.7±2.6% to 35.7±2.1% and the amino acid accessibility from 56.9±4.1% to 72.7±0.6%. Due to the higher amino acid accessibility, the amount of most amino acids transported across the cell monolayers was higher in the protein extracts. Regarding bioavailability, both Ulva and protein extracts were as bioavailable as casein. The protein/peptide molecular size distribution after digestion did not disclose a clear association with bioavailability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129683
JournalFood Chemistry
Volume356
Number of pages11
ISSN0308-8146
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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