This study assessed the functional profile (foaming, emulsifying and rheological properties), proteomic and metabolomic composition of a naturally foaming and currently unexploited co-product (centrate) from the Quorn fermentation process. Due to the low environmental footprint of this process the centrate is a potential source of sustainable functional ingredients for the food industry. A range of fractions were isolated from the centrate via successive ultrafiltration steps. The retentate 100 (R100) fraction, which was obtained following a 100 kDa ultrafiltration, displayed good foaming, emulsifying and rheological properties. R100 solutions and oil-in-water emulsions displayed high viscosity, while R100 solutions and hydrogels showed high viscoelasticity. R100 foams displayed high stability while oil-in-water R100 emulsions showed small and stable oil droplet size distributions. Large mycelial aggregates were reported in R100 solutions and gels, correlating with their high viscosity and viscoelasticity. A dense mycelial network was observed in R100 foams and contributing to their stability. In parallel tensiometry measurements highlighted the presence of interfacially-active molecules in R100 which formed a rigid film stabilising the oil/water interface. A number of functional metabolites and proteins were identified in the centrate, including a cerato-platanin protein, cell membrane constituents (phospholipids, sterols, glycosphingolipids, sphingomyelins), cell wall constituents (chitin, chitosan, proteins), guanine and guanine-based nucleosides and nucleotides. This study highlighted the potential of functional extracts from the Quorn fermentation process as novel ingredients for the preparation of sustainable food products and the complex and specific nature of the centrate’s functional profile, with contributions reported for both mycelial structures and interfacially-active molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering