Plant-based Egg replacement


Thank you to the CBC Saskatchewan team for their interest in our work!

We have developed a process to produce a standardized aquafaba from chickpea and faba bean. We have found that Aquafaba contains polysaccharides (55-66%) and low molecular weight proteins (20-27%) that give it properties similar to those of egg white. Many processing methods play a role in the composition of aquafaba, such as temperature, pH, additives, pressure, treatment duration, and seed variety. The variability in the composition leads to variability in the properties of the aquafaba solution, which is why home cooks may experience inconsistent results when using aquafaba. Aquafaba can be used as an emulsifier (mayonnaise), can produce a foam (meringue), and can produce a thick jelly or creamy solution (ice cream, mousse), and can be used in a wide variety of food formulations and recipes. This is especiall of interest to our researchers as a plant-based egg replacement.

Seed Quality and Utilization

Canola Seed Quality and Dehulling

Canola, or more generally low erucic acid rapeseed is one of the world’s most important oilseed crops and is the most profitable commodity for Canadian farmers because of its applications in oil and high-protein meal production. The value of this crop will be enhanced by developing novel methods for sorting, dehulling and further processing. Sorting the seeds will streamline seed applications based on the relationship between physical seed properties and seed quality. Physical tests such as free-fall tests, for example, will be examined as a possible seed sorting method to exploit the known relationship between moisture and elasticity. Dehulling seeds will reduce oil lost to the hull fraction during extraction and lower the fiber and increase the protein fractions of meal for use in food products.

Hazelnut Seed Quality and Utilization

The correlation between seed properties and seed quality is under examination, and may be used to help breeders at the University of Saskatchewan to select for advantageous traits. Food ingredients and other compounds of interest may be processed or extracted from the hazelnut shells that are usually a waste product.

Flax Seed Quality Enhancement

Flax seed is of interest as a health food product due to its high omega-3 fatty acid, protein, and fiber content. The seeds naturally contain cyanogenic glycosides (CG), which are anti-nutritive and release cyanide when digested. We have developed a process to safely and cheaply remove CG from whole flax seed. We are investigating the nutritive, oxidative, and stability qualities to scale up the process for commercial use, and are developing product formulations for the processed seed and gum. Post-process seed quality will be determined by observing lignan, protein and omega-3 fatty acid content, and food products will be developed using the CG-free seed and gum, and organoleptic analysis will determine their commercial suitability.

Value-added Products from Grain Fermentation

GPC and Bacteriocin Production from Wheat and Barley Thin Stillage

Glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) is an important brain enhancing compound found in abundance in wheat and barley and other thin stillage products during the production of fuel ethanol. Co-fermentation of canola meal with wheat has shown promise in producing improved ethanol yield and coproduct quality. Two-stage fermentation (TSF), using a novel community of probiotic bacteria, cultured in-house, may increase the production of GPC to levels where isolation and purification of this compound reaches concentrations where isolation is commercially viable. The added advantage of applying this probiotic culture is the coproduction of bacteriocins, a natural antibiotic exploited in food science to extend the shelf-life of many perishable food items. The start-to-finish processing of canola after harvest into oil, food, health, and energy products will generate additional value to the canola market.

Insect Protein and Fat from Thin Stillage

Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) can be reared on protein-rich slurry produced by two-stage fermentation (TSF) of wheat-based thin stillage (W-TS), a liquid waste product produced during alcohol fermentation. Clarification, concentration, and conversion of plant-base protein from W-TS can be accomplished through microbial TSF followed by utilization of W-TS as a growth media for BSFL rearing. Applying these processes to mycotoxin contaminated crops can provide a novel opportunity to reclaim lost produce, through alcohol fermentation (producing ethanol fuel and valuable coproducts), followed by the clarification, concentration, and conversion to animal-based protein via the rearing of BSFL.