Spent hen protein hydrolysate with good gastrointestinal stability and permeability in caco-2 cells shows antihypertensive activity in SHR

Hongbing Fan, Wenlin Yu, Wang Liao, Jianping Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spent hens are a major byproduct of the egg industry but are rich in muscle proteins that can be enzymatically transformed into bioactive peptides. The present study aimed to develop a spent hen muscle protein hydrolysate (SPH) with antihypertensive activity. Spent hen muscle proteins were hydrolyzed by nine enzymes, either individually or in combination; 18 SPHs were assessed initially for their in vitro angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity, and three SPHs, prepared by Protex 26L (SPH-26L), pepsin (SPH-P), and thermoase (SPH-T), showed promising activity and peptide yield. These three hydrolysates were further assessed for their angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) upregulating, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities; only SPH-T upregulated ACE2 expression, while all three SPHs showed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. During simulated gastrointestinal digestion, ACE2 upregulating, ACE inhibitory and antioxidant activities of SPH-T were not affected, but those of SPH-26L and SPH-P were reduced. ACE inhibitory activity of gastrointestinal-digested SPH-T was not affected after the permeability study in Caco-2 cells, while ACE2 upregulating, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities were improved; nine novel peptides with five-eight amino acid residues were identified from the Caco-2 permeate. Among these three hydrolysates, only SPH-T reduced blood pressure significantly when given orally at a daily dose of 1000 mg/kg body weight to spontaneously hypertensive rats. SPH-T can be developed into a promising functional food ingredient against hypertension, contributing to a more sustainable utilization for spent hens while generating extra revenue for the egg industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfoods9101384
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada, and Burnbrae Farms Ltd. H.F. was funded by Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures and the Killam Trusts.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • ACE
  • ACE2
  • Caco-2
  • Gastrointestinal digestion
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle proteins
  • Oxidative stress
  • Spent hen
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rats
  • Vascular cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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