Formulation, pilot-scale preparation, physicochemical characterisation and digestibility of a lentil protein-based model infant formula powder

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Alonso-Miravalles, Loreto
Barone, Giovanni
Waldron, David
Bez, Juergen
Skejovic, Marcel
Iben, Joehnke
Petersen, Lykke
Zannini, Emanuele
Arendt, Elke K.
O'Mahony, James A.
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Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
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Background: Infant formula is a human milk substitute for consumption during the first months of life. The protein component of such products is generally of dairy origin. Alternative sources of protein, such as those of plant origin, are of interest due to dairy allergies, intolerances, and ethical and environmental considerations. Lentils have high levels of protein (20–30%) with a good amino acid profile and functional properties. In this study, a model lentil protein‐based formula (LF), in powder format, was produced and compared to two commercial plant‐based infant formulae (i.e., soy; SF and rice; RF) in terms of physicochemical properties and digestibility. Results: The macronutrient composition was similar between all the samples; however, RF and SF had larger volume‐weighted mean particle diameters (D[4,3] of 121–134 μm) than LF (31.9 μm), which was confirmed using scanning electron and confocal laser microscopy. The larger particle sizes of the commercial powders were attributed to their agglomeration during the drying process. Regarding functional properties, the LF showed higher D[4,3] values (17.8 μm) after 18 h reconstitution in water, compared with the SF and RF (5.82 and 4.55 μm, respectively), which could be partially attributed to hydrophobic protein–protein interactions. Regarding viscosity at 95 °C and physical stability, LF was more stable than RF. The digestibility analysis showed LF to have similar values (P < 0.05) to the standard SF. Conclusion: These results demonstrated that, from the nutritional and physicochemical perspectives, lentil proteins represent a good alternative to other sources of plant proteins (e.g., soy and rice) in infant nutritional products. © 2021 The Authors. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
Lentil , Protein , Emulsion , Powder , Functionality , Digestibility , Infant formula
Alonso-Miravalles, L., Barone, G., Waldron, D., Bez, J., Skejovic, M., Iben, J., Petersen, L., Zannini, E., Arendt, E. K. and O'Mahony, J. A. (2021) 'Formulation, pilot-scale preparation, physicochemical characterisation and digestibility of a lentil protein-based model infant formula powder', Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.11199