Ultrasound-assisted enzymatic extraction of protein hydrolysates from brewer's spent grain


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Virginia Tech


Brewer's spent grain (BSG) is the most abundant by-product of the brewing industry and its main application is limited to low-value cattle feed. Since BSG contains 20 to 25% of proteins, it has the potential to provide a new protein source to the food industry. In this research, an ultrasound-assisted enzymatic extraction was designed to extract protein hydrolysates from BSG. Original BSG and ultrasound pretreated BSG were hydrolyzed under different enzyme (Alcalase) loadings and incubation times. Centrifugation was applied to separate solubilized proteins from insoluble BSG residue. When the enzyme loading increased from 1 to 40 uL /g BSG, the solubilized proteins increased from 34% to 64.8%. The application of ultrasound further increased the solubilized proteins from 64.8% to 69.8%. Solubilized proteins from ultrasound pretreated BSG was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that from the original BSG. Particle size distribution analysis showed that the application of ultrasound pretreatment reduced the BSG particle size from 331.2 to 215.7 um. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed that the BSG particle surface was partially ruptured by the ultrasound pretreatment. These two phenomena might have contributed to the increased protein separation efficiency with ultrasound pretreatment. The solubility (pH 1.0 to 11.0) of protein hydrolysate increased by the application of ultrasound and the ultrasound did not lead to the change of the amino acid composition of the separated protein hydrolysates. Based on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis profile, the protein was degraded to peptides which had molecular weights lower than 15 kDa. The color of the separated protein hydrolysates by enzymatic hydrolysis was brighter and lighter than the original BSG. The application of ultrasound did not affect the color of the separated protein hydrolysates. Overall, the ultrasound pretreatment prior to enzymatic hydrolysis enhanced the extraction of proteins from BSG in terms of higher protein separation efficiency, lower enzyme loadings, and reduced incubation time. This study developed a novel and green method to effectively extract value-added protein hydrolysates from the low-value food processing byproducts.



brewer's spent grain, extraction, proteins, ultrasound, enzyme