Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Lleida
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
Food security has always been a major concern for the rising population around the world. The essentiality of catering to the rapidly increasing population has put our natural resources under a lot of strain. Globally, people are now adopting a vegan lifestyle which has opened possibilities of exploring non-animal protein sources extensively. Plant-based proteins are replacing animal proteins as a more sustainable and healthy dietary choice. The present proposal aims to develop a novel mechanism for exploiting an underutilized and versatile crop, fava bean, as an alternative to meat proteins. Fava bean is a protein-rich legume crop that has the potential to be used as a meat replacer. For this work, the authors propose to extract the proteins from fava beans using novel food processing techniques such as ultrasonic-assisted extraction and pulsed-electric field extraction. These techniques are classified as green technologies, which can extract the protein from the beans at a higher yield and reduce wastage. The authors will study the functional properties of the extracted protein and the effects of various treatments, physical or enzymatic, to improve protein functionality. Further, we propose to develop meat-like products or meat analogues from the extracted proteins with or without the aid of some plant-based hydrocolloids, using the extrusion technique. Finally, the developed fava bean protein meat analogue will be investigated for sensory attributes and consumer acceptability.