Scott Pryor, Chad Ulven, Dennis Wiesenborn, Sam K.C. Chang, W. Asanga Manamperi
High-value products from oilseed meal must be developed to ensure economically viable biodiesel production from canola. Although significant work has been done on the utilization of soy proteins for industrial applications, literature reports on the use of canola proteins for such products are sparse. While most protein-based bioproducts research relies on commercial protein products, we believe advances in bioproduct development will require process control at all stages - protein extraction, protein modification, and product formulation.
We are exploring the impact of protein processing conditions on the quality of protein isolates and the bio based plastics made with them. We are looking at removing certain fractions of the canola protein that may have more potential uses in the food industry but detrimental properties for other industrial applications. We are also examining the impact of solubilization and precipitation pH on the properties of resulting protein isolates and the plastics from which they are made.
We have found that the processing conditions that maximize yields of canola protein isolates are not the same as those that maximize various mechanical properties of resulting biobased plastics. By modifying the isolation procedures, we can produce an improved protein isolate with better characteristics in terms of strength, water resistance, and thermal stability.