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Enzyme-assisted Protein Extraction from Alfalfa Leaves

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100024.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100024)
Authors:   Youngmi Kim, Virginia Lee
Keywords:   Alfalfa, Antioxidant, Cell-wall degrading enzymes, Cellulases, Leaf protein, Pectinases, Peptides, Protein extraction.

Abstract. Green leaves are recognized as one of the largest renewable sources of high-quality protein for human and animal consumption. This work examines the use of commercially available, cell-wall degrading enzymes (Cellic® CTec2, Viscozyme® L, Pectinex® Ultra SP-L) for the extraction of proteins from alfalfa leaves. The enzyme-assisted, alkaline extraction of alfalfa protein using Viscozyme L and Pectinex Ultra SP-L enhanced the protein extraction by a factor of 1.4–1.6 at a low enzyme dose (1.5–6 mg g-1 dry alfalfa) as compared to the protein extraction without enzymes. The current work demonstrates the effect of pectinolytic and hemicellulolytic enzyme activities in these enzyme preparations in improving the protein extractability from alfalfa leaves and the quality of proteins obtained. The amino acid contents of extracted alfalfa leaf protein were comparable to those of isolated soybean protein reported in literature, except for glutamic acid and cysteine. The enzymatic hydrolysis of alfalfa leaf proteins using a protease (Alcalase) produced peptides with antioxidative activities as measured by the reducing power assay.

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