Sunflower flour as a rich source of high quality proteins
Since there is an increasing demand for plant proteins as an adequate and less expensive alternative for animal proteins, the main objective of this study was to investigate influence of two technological processes on yield and quality of produced sunflower flour. Sunflower flour has a remarkable potential as a functional component for food and feed, so achieving of appropriate emulsifying properties, foam capacities and other functional characteristics was of special importance in the presented investigation. First method, combination of sunflower kernel cold pressing and supercritical fluid extraction with CO2 gave better product (flour I) than electrostatic separation of hull from sunflower meal (flour II). Flour I had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher content of protein than flour II (58.75 percent compared to 53.1 percent) and better functional properties.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is annual plant, originally from North America, which has been extensively cultivated as a commercial plant all over the world (1). It was a common crop among Native American tribes, present in Arizona and New Mexico 3000 years BC. The basic use of sunflower seeds is in edible oil production. Sunflower oil is generally considered premium oil, due to its bland flavour, light colour and high smoke point (2). However, sunflower seeds are also considered to be a great source of proteins with approximately 20 percent of protein content (3-5). They have been extensively evaluated as food ingredients, but despite this, there are still only some minor applications in food.
Oilseeds are most important source of plant protein products (isolates, concentrates, etc.), and sunflower seeds are particularly interesting, because of their availability in agricultural areas where soy production is not widespread. The isolation of sunflower protein involves physico-chemical and thermal processes, which affect functional properties, such as whipping capacity, viscosity, emulsification, water and oil holding capacities, e ...