News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Process for Obtaining Proteins from a Native Substance Mixture", for Approval

September 2, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Hruschka, Steffen (Oelde, DE); Boszulak, Wladislawa (Oelde, DE), filed on June 6, 2012, was made available online on August 21, 2014 (see also GEA Mechanical Equipment GmbH).

The patent's assignee is GEA Mechanical Equipment GmbH.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a process for recovering proteins from a natural product mixture.

"DE 195 29 795 C2 discloses a process which allows the recovery of oils, fats or waxes. Here, an aqueous slurry is separated into solid and liquid constituents in a centrifuge. A proportion of 5-75% by weight, based on the liquids content of the slurry, of an organic solvent is added to the aqueous slurry. DE 195 29 795 C2 addresses the problem of isolating a clean oil phase, an aqueous phase and a solid phase which has been freed of oil from the aqueous slurry. This process has been found to be suitable in principle for the recovery of oils, waxes and fats.

"Known processes for producing proteins are production of a protein isolate at an alkaline pH or production of a protein concentrate at an acidic pH, which are preferably employed in the case of hexane-extracted shredded material but cannot be applied, in conjunction with the process of DE 195 29 795 C2, to a protein/lecithin mixture without an energy-intensive drying step.

"In the light of this background, it is an object of the invention to obtain a protein phase of high purity.

"The invention achieves this object by providing a process for recovering proteins from natural product mixtures, in particular shredded leguminous plants or shredded rapeseed plants, in which the mixture is firstly finely comminuted and optionally (if not liquid enough) processed by addition of a liquid to form a flowable slurry. The process comprises at least the following steps: (i) setting of a pH of the slurry in the alkaline range, i.e. to a pH of greater than 7.0; (ii) addition of at least one water-soluble organic solvent after setting the alkaline pH in the alkaline range; and (iii) separation of a protein phase from the slurry.

"Adhering to the order of these steps is particularly advantageous.

"Here, unlike in DE 195 29 795 C2, a pH of the slurry in the alkaline range is set before addition of the water-soluble organic solvent. As a result, the solubility of the proteins in the aqueous medium is increased, they are partially dissolved and, if they are not completely dissolved, are present in at least finely divided and voluminous form in the solution and not in compact form like the other solids. The presence of a protein/lecithin mixture interferes with complete solubility of the proteins. After setting of the pH, the organic water-soluble solvent is added, as a result of which oil, inter alia, is displaced from the partially dissolved protein suspension.

"The process of the invention thus makes it possible to recover proteins having a high purity since, inter alia, the increase in the solubility of the proteins obviously also results in loosening of bonds to, for example, impurities composed of cellulose or husks or the like.

"The process can be used for recovering proteins. In addition, it can particularly advantageously be combined with recovery of oil from the mixture, which oil can be separated off as a separate phase by addition of the solvent in step b.

"Solids or undissolved sediment are preferably separated off in a separate step after step (ii), i.e. the partial dissolution of the proteins, and before the actual isolation of the protein phase and optionally the oil phase.

"The pH in step (i) is preferably equal to or greater than pH=9. As a result of the shift of the pH into the alkaline range in step (i), particularly good dissolution or partial dissolution of proteins in the aqueous solution is achieved. Better separation of the protein phase from the remaining solids can be effective as a result. Particularly favorable conditions for partial dissolution of the proteins are obtained at a pH of greater than pH=9 and in particular at a pH of pH=10.+-.0.5.

"A short-chain aliphatic alcohol can be employed as water-soluble organic solvent in step (ii). This relates first and foremost to readily available alcohols such as methanol, ethanol or propanol which are available in large quantities.

"Since the addition of the solvent is associated with a decrease in the solubility of the proteins, it is advantageous for the content of water-soluble organic solvent in the slurry after addition of the water-soluble alcoholic solvent in step (ii) to be less than 45% by volume, preferably

"Separation in a centrifugal field is particularly useful for separating off the solid phases. Removal of the solid phase can preferably be effected by means of a clarifying decanter.

"Removal of the solids leaves a mixture of aqueous alcoholic solution and proteins in an essentially aqueous form and possibly an oil phase. The interest is now in isolating the valuable constituents, i.e. the protein phase and the oil phase. The isolation of at least the protein phase in step (iii) is preferably carried out by means of the step (iii)-1, precipitation of the protein phase by adjusting the pH. As a result, the mixture comprises a solid phase and one or two liquid phases which can be separated into an oil phase, a protein phase and an alcoholic-aqueous phase in a centrifugal field in a subsequent step (iii)-2. This can preferably be effected by use of a three-phase separator.

"Precipitation of the protein phase is preferably brought about by lowering the pH to the isoelectric point. Here, inter alia, individual precipitated proteins can clump together, as a result of which they can be separated even better from the liquid phases.

"To improve the purity of the protein phase, it can be washed in step (iv) after isolation by adjustment of the pH.

"The protein obtained is a 'natural product' and largely polyphenol-free.

"The invention will be illustrated below with the aid of an example and reference to the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

"FIG. 1 shows an illustrative process flow diagram"

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention relates to a process for recovering proteins from a natural product mixture.

"DE 195 29 795 C2 discloses a process which allows the recovery of oils, fats or waxes. Here, an aqueous slurry is separated into solid and liquid constituents in a centrifuge. A proportion of 5-75% by weight, based on the liquids content of the slurry, of an organic solvent is added to the aqueous slurry. DE 195 29 795 C2 addresses the problem of isolating a clean oil phase, an aqueous phase and a solid phase which has been freed of oil from the aqueous slurry. This process has been found to be suitable in principle for the recovery of oils, waxes and fats.

"Known processes for producing proteins are production of a protein isolate at an alkaline pH or production of a protein concentrate at an acidic pH, which are preferably employed in the case of hexane-extracted shredded material but cannot be applied, in conjunction with the process of DE 195 29 795 C2, to a protein/lecithin mixture without an energy-intensive drying step.

"In the light of this background, it is an object of the invention to obtain a protein phase of high purity.

"The invention achieves this object by providing a process for recovering proteins from natural product mixtures, in particular shredded leguminous plants or shredded rapeseed plants, in which the mixture is firstly finely comminuted and optionally (if not liquid enough) processed by addition of a liquid to form a flowable slurry. The process comprises at least the following steps: (i) setting of a pH of the slurry in the alkaline range, i.e. to a pH of greater than 7.0; (ii) addition of at least one water-soluble organic solvent after setting the alkaline pH in the alkaline range; and (iii) separation of a protein phase from the slurry.

"Adhering to the order of these steps is particularly advantageous.

"Here, unlike in DE 195 29 795 C2, a pH of the slurry in the alkaline range is set before addition of the water-soluble organic solvent. As a result, the solubility of the proteins in the aqueous medium is increased, they are partially dissolved and, if they are not completely dissolved, are present in at least finely divided and voluminous form in the solution and not in compact form like the other solids. The presence of a protein/lecithin mixture interferes with complete solubility of the proteins. After setting of the pH, the organic water-soluble solvent is added, as a result of which oil, inter alia, is displaced from the partially dissolved protein suspension.

"The process of the invention thus makes it possible to recover proteins having a high purity since, inter alia, the increase in the solubility of the proteins obviously also results in loosening of bonds to, for example, impurities composed of cellulose or husks or the like.

"The process can be used for recovering proteins. In addition, it can particularly advantageously be combined with recovery of oil from the mixture, which oil can be separated off as a separate phase by addition of the solvent in step b.

"Solids or undissolved sediment are preferably separated off in a separate step after step (ii), i.e. the partial dissolution of the proteins, and before the actual isolation of the protein phase and optionally the oil phase.

"The pH in step (i) is preferably equal to or greater than pH=9. As a result of the shift of the pH into the alkaline range in step (i), particularly good dissolution or partial dissolution of proteins in the aqueous solution is achieved. Better separation of the protein phase from the remaining solids can be effective as a result. Particularly favorable conditions for partial dissolution of the proteins are obtained at a pH of greater than pH=9 and in particular at a pH of pH=10.+-.0.5.

"A short-chain aliphatic alcohol can be employed as water-soluble organic solvent in step (ii). This relates first and foremost to readily available alcohols such as methanol, ethanol or propanol which are available in large quantities.

"Since the addition of the solvent is associated with a decrease in the solubility of the proteins, it is advantageous for the content of water-soluble organic solvent in the slurry after addition of the water-soluble alcoholic solvent in step (ii) to be less than 45% by volume, preferably

"Separation in a centrifugal field is particularly useful for separating off the solid phases. Removal of the solid phase can preferably be effected by means of a clarifying decanter.

"Removal of the solids leaves a mixture of aqueous alcoholic solution and proteins in an essentially aqueous form and possibly an oil phase. The interest is now in isolating the valuable constituents, i.e. the protein phase and the oil phase. The isolation of at least the protein phase in step (iii) is preferably carried out by means of the step (iii)-1, precipitation of the protein phase by adjusting the pH. As a result, the mixture comprises a solid phase and one or two liquid phases which can be separated into an oil phase, a protein phase and an alcoholic-aqueous phase in a centrifugal field in a subsequent step (iii)-2. This can preferably be effected by use of a three-phase separator.

"Precipitation of the protein phase is preferably brought about by lowering the pH to the isoelectric point. Here, inter alia, individual precipitated proteins can clump together, as a result of which they can be separated even better from the liquid phases.

"To improve the purity of the protein phase, it can be washed in step (iv) after isolation by adjustment of the pH.

"The protein obtained is a 'natural product' and largely polyphenol-free.

"The invention will be illustrated below with the aid of an example and reference to the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

"FIG. 1 shows an illustrative process flow diagram"

For additional information on this patent application, see: Hruschka, Steffen; Boszulak, Wladislawa. Process for Obtaining Proteins from a Native Substance Mixture. Filed June 6, 2012 and posted August 21, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1564&p=32&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140814.PD.&OS=PD/20140814&RS=PD/20140814

Keywords for this news article include: Peptides, Proteins, Amino Acids, GEA Mechanical Equipment GmbH.

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Source: Life Science Weekly


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