Comparison of physicochemical and emulsifying properties of commercial pea protein powders

Travis G. Burger, Indarpal Singh, Caleb Mayfield, Joseph L. Baumert, Yue Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: There is an increasing trend in the food industry to utilize plant-based proteins. Pea protein (PP) is one such protein that is a promising alternative emulsifier. However, there is a significant functionality gap between laboratory and commercially produced PP that limits its usage. The physicochemical and emulsification properties of five commercial PP powders were characterized to better understand the functionality gap. RESULTS: Four of the five commercial powders displayed low solubility, high surface hydrophobicity, and an abundance of large insoluble aggregates. High-pressure homogenization was able to break up the aggregates, reduce surface hydrophobicity, and increase solubility. There was a significant correlation between the homogenized solubility and the emulsification properties of the commercial PPs. There was not a significant correlation between the emulsification properties and the other physicochemical properties (unhomogenized solubility, zeta potential, surface hydrophobicity, and interfacial tension). CONCLUSIONS: The conformational changes caused by the commercial isolation process may disrupt the correlations between the physicochemical and emulsification properties of PP. Solubility is a key physicochemical property to enable good emulsification properties for PP. Homogenization is an effective step to improve the solubility of commercial PP and therefore promote its functional properties before industrial usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2506-2514
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • emulsification
  • high-pressure homogenization
  • pea protein
  • physicochemical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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