PROTAX: Enzymatically induced PROTein ArabinoXylan networks in gluten-free systems.


Despite the steadily increasing demand for gluten-free baked goods, the quality is still not comparable to wheat or rye products. The PROTAX project aims to improve the quality of gluten-free baked goods by forming a gluten-like network in doughs.

Project description

To produce gluten-free baked goods, flours made from gluten-free grains such as rice or corn are used. These cereals lack certain proteins that stabilize the structure of the pastry. To prevent low bread volume and dry taste, additives such as hydrocolloids and emulsifiers are very often added. At present, however, it is not yet possible to achieve a comparable quality to baked goods containing gluten.

The PROTAX project is improving gluten-free doughs by imitating the gluten network and dispensing with additives. Proteins from gluten-free grains are linked to dietary fiber (arabinoxylans), giving gluten-free doughs more structure. Oat, corn and rice varieties are being studied for their content of proteins and arabinoxylans. The focus is on compounds that serve as a starting point for subsequent crosslinking. Particularly suitable for this are the amino acid tyrosine and the ferulic acid bound to the arabinoxylans, which is necessary for building the cell walls of plants. Crosslinking results in improved dough properties, such as increased extensibility or elasticity. Varieties with a suitable content of these compounds are milled and proteins and arabinoxylans are extracted. In dough tests, the compounds are crosslinked by various enzymes to produce a stabilizing network that mimics gluten.

Benefit of the project

In the PROTAX project, model doughs are used to generate a network similar to gluten. The project thus determines the potential to identify and improve the product quality of gluten-free baked goods without additives and to enable an improved range of gluten-free baked goods in the long term.

Project details

Project acronym: PROTAX

Project Management: Stefano D'Amico, AGES, Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feedingstuffs

Project partners: University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Department of Food Science and Food Technology (DLWT); University of Hohenheim, Department of Plant Foods

Funding: PROTAX FWF Project No.: I 5891-N

Project duration: 10.2022 until 09.2025

Last updated: 15.11.2023

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