This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Bioactive peptides in milk proteins

24 May 2010

More than 30 new bioactive milk peptides have been identified by Food for Health Ireland’s (FHI’s) bioinformatics work package at University College Dublin

Part of FHI’s intelligent milk mining programme, the latest breakthrough will enable researchers to focus on the most meaningful biological elements of milk whey and casein proteins, ultimately benefiting the development of new functional foods.

The bioinformatics team uses a combination of evolutionary principles and cues in amino acid sequences to detect potential bioactive peptides within the milk proteins. Bioactive peptides are among many elements in food which can benefit and enhance human health, and have captured the attention and imagination of the research community in recent years.

Bioactive peptides are embedded in the protein sequence where they remain inactive until released from the full protein by appropriate enzymes. An advantage of the bioinformatics, computer based strategy is that it can first rule out any known bioactive sequences in the published literature, so that investigations can focus on detecting novel regions of the proteins. Bioinformatics enables a systematic and intelligent approach to leverage existing knowledge and direct the generation of new healthy ingredients.

Initially, researchers compared bovine, human and other mammalian milk proteins to detect regions that are more conserved in evolution than expected. Conserved regions in a protein are those that have remained constant through evolutionary changes and are often required for basic cellular function and interaction.

The next stage of the programme involved searching for patterns of amino acid composition that are characteristic of known bioactive peptides. Indeed, many peptides share common features, such as their amino acid composition. The bioinformatics team then narrowed down the focus to sets of regions that share similar amino acid composition to known beneficial peptides. The 30 predicted novel peptides are currently being synthesised and tested by FHI.

Dr Nora Khaldi, leader of FHI’s bioinformatics work package, comments: “Unlike any other food, milk has had the chance to co-evolve with mammals for over 200 million years. In other words, milk has adapted to the different needs of the diverse array of mammals.

The goal of any species is to maintain its fitness and growth - which is a direct result of the current and future health of the offspring. Because of milk’s adaptation to the species needs, it holds the key to those elements that increase the offspring’s health. It is these beneficial features that we are now isolating from milk proteins. This novel approach focuses investigation on the important regions of milk proteins and can thus bring major benefits to future functional foods.”


Print this page | E-mail this page

RELATED CONTENT...


Article image Lean blending a time and money saver

An innovative new service for food processors and other users of seasonings, including butchers and bakers, has been launched by Unbar Rothon. Called Lean Blending, it has been created by the third generation, Essex-based flavours house to cut administration, labour and storage costs for customers whilst guaranteeing food safety.Full Story...

Article image WILD presents a collection of natural colours for the confectionery market

The Ingredients Specialist WILD has expanded its range of colors and now offers a prism of intense shades for use in confectionery products: the Rainbow Range of concentrates and extracts is available in red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple.Full Story...

New bespoke service launched by Mr Crumb

Ulrick & Short 'technically the best'

ADM brings ingredients for diverse needs to Gulfood 2013

RELATED SPONSORED ARTICLES...


Article image Lean blending a time and money saver

An innovative new service for food processors and other users of seasonings, including butchers and bakers, has been launched by Unbar Rothon. Called Lean Blending, it has been created by the third generation, Essex-based flavours house to cut administration, labour and storage costs for customers whilst guaranteeing food safety.Full Story...

Ulrick & Short 'technically the best'

Multimillion pound functional clean label ingredients company, Ulrick & Short, is accelerating into 2013 on the back of several high profile contract wins and a new pledge to benchmark itself as ‘technically the best’Full Story...

Danielle keen to expand knowledge with Beacon Foods

EHL Ingredients’ recipe for success

MOST VIEWED...


Article image Spray and save on the glazing process

Food glazes are widely used in the bakery sector to improve the look and taste of baked products. Traditionally, this coating process has resulted in substantial waste. Technology advances mean that this is no longer the case. Full Story...

Article image Your flexible friend in the food factory

Suzanne Gill finds out where thermal imaging technology can help around the factory. Full Story...

What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?

A dry-ageing process improvement

Self diagnostics: an enabler for predictive maintenance

http://www.appetite4eng.co.uk