Selective removal of phenolic compounds (PCs) from de-oiled sunflower kernel is generally considered a key step for food applications, but this often leads to protein loss. PC removal yield and protein loss were assessed during an aqueous or aqueous ethanol washing process with different temperatures, pH-values and ethanol contents. PC yield and protein loss increased when the ethanol content was < 60% or when a higher temperature was applied. Our main finding is that preventing protein loss should be the key objective when selecting process conditions. This can be achieved using solvents with high ethanol content. Simulation of the multi-step exhaustive process showed that process optimization is possible with additional washing steps. PC yield of 95% can be achieved with only 1% protein loss using 9 steps and 80% ethanol content at 25℃. The functional properties of the resulting concentrates were hardly altered with the use of high ethanol solvents.
- Chlorogenic acid
- Equilibrium constant
- Sunflower protein functionality
- Water holding capacity