American Chemical Society
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Regulation of Protein Flexibility and Promoting the Cod Protein Gel Formation Using Ultrasound Treatment

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-15, 21:31 authored by Yisha Xie, Feng Yang, Kangyu Zhao, Wenwen Zhang, Qingqing Liu, Yongjun Yuan
In order to obtain a soft-textured protein gel suitable for the elderly, the cod protein gel was prepared by improving the protein flexibility under ultrasound treatment. It has been found that the increase in ultrasonic power, protein flexibility, particle size, ζ-potential, surface hydrophobicity, and α-helix content of preheated cod protein exhibited an increasing trend. The improvement of protein flexibility promoted uniformity and density of the gel network, water retention, and texture properties. The flexibility of preheated cod protein increased to 0.189, the water holding capacity of the gel reached up to 99.41%, and the hardness increased to 49.12 g, as the ultrasonic power level increased to 400 W. Protein flexibility was correlated well with the cohesiveness of the gel. The storage modulus (G′) initially decreased and then increased during the heating–cooling process. The attractive forces forming between the flexible protein molecules during cooling in the ultrasound treatment groups promoted protein self-assembly aggregation and formed the cod protein gel. The gel obtained at 100–400 W could be categorized as Level 6soft and bite-sized according to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) framework, indicating that the cod protein gel has potential as an easy-to-swallow diet for the elderly.