Food products often contain highly-refined ingredients. The use of highly-refined ingredients has advantages, such constant quality, easy handling and global sourcing. Nevertheless, the production of these highly-refined ingredients require harsh and intensive processing. In addition, consumers associate highly-refined ingredients with “un-natural”. This explains why there is a lot of interest for a novel approach towards ingredient production. Those concepts have a focus on functionality on ingredients rather than purity, which can allow limiting processing and the use of milder conditions.
In this thesis, we explore the concept of minimal and mild fractionation and the research questions that arise when applying the concept described above. Here an aqueous fractionation is used as a mild process for the fractionation of starch and protein from yellow pea (Pisum sativum) and protein from soy beans (Glycine max). The functional properties (e.g. emulsification, gelation, thickening and structuring properties) of the protein- and starch enriched fractions was investigated and related to the applicability and the resource efficiency of those fractions. In addition a sustainability analysis was performed.
Main conclusion of the thesis is that mild fractionation leads to highly functional ingredients, which can be produced in a more sustainable manner. Key challenges are now to better understand relation functionality and purity and consequences for total food production chains.