Surface Properties of Heat-Induced Soluble Soy Protein Aggregates of Different Molecular Masses

Fengxian Guo, Youling L. Xiong, Fang Qin, Huajun Jian, Xiaolin Huang, Jie Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Suspensions (2% and 5%, w/v) of soy protein isolate (SPI) were heated at 80, 90, or 100 °C for different time periods to produce soluble aggregates of different molecular sizes to investigate the relationship between particle size and surface properties (emulsions and foams). Soluble aggregates generated in these model systems were characterized by gel permeation chromatography and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Heat treatment increased surface hydrophobicity, induced SPI aggregation via hydrophobic interaction and disulfide bonds, and formed soluble aggregates of different sizes. Heating of 5% SPI always promoted large-size aggregate (LA; >1000 kDa) formation irrespective of temperature, whereas the aggregate size distribution in 2% SPI was temperature dependent: the LA fraction progressively rose with temperature (80→90→100 °C), corresponding to the attenuation of medium-size aggregates (MA; 670 to 1000 kDa) initially abundant at 80 °C. Heated SPI with abundant LA (>50%) promoted foam stability. LA also exhibited excellent emulsifying activity and stabilized emulsions by promoting the formation of small oil droplets covered with a thick interfacial protein layer. However, despite a similar influence on emulsion stability, MA enhanced foaming capacity but were less capable of stabilizing emulsions than LA. The functionality variation between heated SPI samples is clearly related to the distribution of aggregates that differ in molecular size and surface activity. The findings may encourage further research to develop functional SPI aggregates for various commercial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C279-C287
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Institute of Food Technologists®.


  • Emulsification properties
  • Foaming properties
  • Heat treatment
  • Soluble aggregates
  • Soy protein isolate (SPI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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