Journal of the science of food and agriculture

Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on the enzymatic hydrolysis of bovine serum albumin.

PMID 27885680


The extent of enzymatic proteolysis mainly depends on accessibility of the peptide bonds, which stabilize the protein structure. The high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) process is able to induce, at certain operating conditions, protein displacement, thus suggesting that this technology can be used to modify protein resistance to the enzymatic attack. This work aims at investigating the mechanism of enzymatic hydrolysis assisted by HHP performed under different processing conditions (pressure level, treatment time). Bovine serum albumin was selected for the experiments, solubilized in sodium phosphate buffer (25 mg mL(-1) , pH 7.5) with α-chymotrypsin or trypsin (E/S ratio = 1/10) and HPP treatment (100-500 MPa, 15-25 min). HHP treatment enhanced the extent of the hydrolysis reaction of globular proteins, being more effective than conventional hydrolysis. At HHP treatment conditions maximizing the protein unfolding, the hydrolysis degree of proteins was increased as a consequence of the increased exposure of peptide bonds to the attack of proteolytic enzymes. The maximum hydrolysis degree (10% and 7% respectively for the samples hydrolyzed with α-chymotrypsin and trypsin) was observed for the samples processed at 400 MPa for 25 min. At pressure levels higher than 400 MPa the formation of aggregates was likely to occur; thus the degree of hydrolysis decreased. Protein unfolding represents the key factor controlling the efficiency of HHP-assisted hydrolysis treatments. The peptide produced under high pressure showed lower dimensions and a different structure with respect to those of the hydrolysates obtained when the hydrolysis was carried out at atmospheric pressure, thus opening new frontiers of application in food science and nutrition. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

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