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Use of dry separation methods for the production of functional, protein-enriched powders from legumes with a focus on grinding and triboelectric separation technology.

Proteins are fundamental components of human nutrition. Currently, the demand is primarily met from animal sources. Nevertheless, plant-based proteins have already emerged as a sustainable alternative to animal-derived proteins.

The quality and functionality of proteins depend on the origin and composition of the seeds/fruits as well as the isolation or extraction method used. Through wet extraction processes, protein isolates with a purity of over 90% can be obtained. However, these processes are highly cost- and resource-intensive, and the proteins undergo significant processing or changes in functionality due to extreme pH conditions and the drying step.

Dry processes have the advantage of being much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly due to lower water and energy consumption. A relatively new researched method with great potential, especially in food processing, is the enrichment of proteins through triboelectric separation. The separation effect is based on the different surface charges of various particles, which are acquired through contact with the material of a charging zone or other particles.

The aim of the project is to understand the relationships between powder characteristics (shape, surface properties), particle preparation, the charging behavior of individual particles, and the success of triboelectric separation.