Production of bovine beta-lactoglobulin and hen egg ovalbumin by Trichoderma reesei using precision fermentation technology and testing of their techno-functional properties

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Abstract

The food protein ingredient market is dominated by dairy and egg proteins. Both milk whey and egg proteins are challenging proteins to replace, e.g. with plant proteins, due to the unique structural features of the animal proteins that render them highly functional. Thus, to provide a non-animal source of these important proteins the fungal host Trichoderma reesei was utilized for the biotechnical production of recombinant hen ovalbumin (TrOVA) and bovine beta lactoglobulin (TrBLG). These food proteins were investigated using two different promoter systems to test the concept of effectively expressing them in a fungal host. Both proteins were successfully produced in 24 well plate and bioreactor scale. The production level of TrBLG and TrOVA were 1 g/L and 2 g/L, respectively. Both proteins were further purified and characterized, and their functional properties were tested. TrBLG and TrOVA secondary structures determined by circular dichroism corresponded to the proteins of bovine and hen. The T. reesei produced proteins were found to be N-glycosylated, mostly with Man 5. TrBLG had emulsification properties matching to corresponding bovine protein. TrOVA showed excellent foaming characteristics and heat-induced gelation, although the strength of the gel was somewhat lower than with hen ovalbumin, possibly due to the partial degradation of TrOVA or presence of other host proteins. Biotechnical production of whey and egg proteins using precision fermentation technology offers an innovative way to increase the sustainability of the conventional food industry, without further reliance on animal farming.

Industrial relevance: The food protein ingredient market is dominated by dairy (largely whey proteins) and egg proteins. Whey proteins are valuable and versatile food ingredients due to their functional and nutritional quality. They are largely used in meat and milk products, low fat products, bakery, confectionary, infant formulas and sports nutrition. Similarly, egg white protein ovalbumin is a highly functional protein ingredient that facilitates structure formation and high nutritional quality in most food products. Together they comprise 40 - 70% of the revenue in the animal protein ingredients market. Both whey and egg proteins are extremely challenging proteins to replace, e.g., by plant proteins due to their unique structural features that render them with high functionality. Biotechnical production of whey and egg proteins using precision fermentation technology offers an innovative way to increase the sustainability of the conventional food industry, without further reliance on animal farming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112131
JournalFood Research International
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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