Effects of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids and High Hydrostatic Pressure on Structure and Gelation Properties of Sweet Potato Protein

  • Zhong-Kai Zhao
  • Tai-Hua MuEmail author
  • Miao Zhang
  • Aurore RichelEmail author
Original Paper


The structural modification and gelation properties of sweet potato protein (SPP) affected by sulfur-containing amino acids (L-cysteine or L-cystine) and high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) were investigated. Additives altered the denaturation temperature and reduced the denaturation enthalpy of SPP. Higher α-helical contents were observed in untreated or HHP-treated SPP with L-cysteine or L-cystine, while β-sheet and random coil structure unit were decreased. FTIR spectra showed a weak absorbance in HHP-treated SPP with L-cysteine and L-cystine. Storage modulus (G′) of untreated or HHP-treated SPP was enhanced by L-cysteine and L-cystine. Textural properties of SPP gels were improved by sulfur-containing amino acids and HHP, especially for L-cysteine. Decrease in T2b relaxation time and increase in A21 proportion peak area by low-field NMR suggested that water bound more closely to SPP molecules in the presence of L-cysteine and L-cystine, and more immobilized water fraction was trapped in SPP gel matrix.

Key words

Sweet potato protein High hydrostatic pressure Sulfur-containing amino acids Gelation Low-field NMR 



Sweet potato protein


High hydrostatic pressure


Circular dichroism


Fourier transform infrared


Differential scanning calorimetry


Storage modulus


Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation


Funding Information

The authors received the earmarked fund from China Agriculture Research System (CARS-10-B21) and National Key R & D Program of China (2016YFE0133600).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Nutrition Science, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Agro-Products ProcessingMinistry of Agriculture and Rural AffairsBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biomass and Green Technologies, Gembloux Agro-Bio TechUniversity of LiègeGemblouxBelgium

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