Thermomechanical Morphology of Peas and Its Relation to Fracture Behaviour

P.J.M. Pelgrom, M.A.I. Schutyser, R.M. Boom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Milling and subsequent air classification can be exploited for production of functional protein-enriched fractions from legumes and grains. Fracture behaviour is of large relevance to optimal disentanglement of protein and starch and is determined by the thermomechanical morphology of the seeds. Thermomechanical properties of peas were explored as a function of temperature and moisture content. Differential scanning calorimetry and thermal mechanical compression tests were carried out on pea protein and starch isolates yielding similar glass transition temperatures. Glass transition lines were successfully constructed using the Gordon–Taylor equation. Subsequently, three regions were identified in the state diagram; starch in the glassy and protein in the rubbery state, both components in the glassy state, and both components in the rubbery state. From single pea fracture experiments, it was found that the completely glassy peas fractured at a smaller critical compression distance compared to the peas in the other two regions. This can be explained by the elastic behaviour of the rubbery protein network, having a detrimental effect on the energy efficiency of milling processes. However, from scanning electron microscopy, it appeared that in rough fracture planes, visible when the protein was in the rubbery state, starch granules were present as more separate identities, suggesting increased disentanglement. Disentanglement of protein and starch by milling would then be optimal when protein is in the rubbery state. The latter can be achieved by milling at increased temperature and/or moisture content, which would be an attractive alternative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3317-3325
JournalFood Bioprocess Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • mechanical compression test
  • glass-transition behavior
  • scanning calorimetry dsc
  • pisum-sativum
  • moisture-content
  • test tmct
  • starch
  • legumes
  • protein
  • water


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