Research Article Open Access

Protein Molecular Structures, Protein SubFractions, and Protein Availability Affected by Heat Processing: A Review

Peiqiang Yu1
  • 1 University of Saskatchewan 51 Campus Drive, Canada


The utilization and availability of protein depended on the types of protein and their specific susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis (inhibitory activities) in the gastrointestine and was highly associated with protein molecular structures. Studying internal protein structure and protein subfraction profiles leaded to an understanding of the components that make up a whole protein. An understanding of the molecular structure of the whole protein was often vital to understanding its digestive behavior and nutritive value in animals. In this review, recently obtained information on protein molecular structural effects of heat processing was reviewed, in relation to protein characteristics affecting digestive behavior and nutrient utilization and availability. The emphasis of this review was on (1) using the newly advanced synchrotron technology (S-FTIR) as a novel approach to reveal protein molecular chemistry affected by heat processing within intact plant tissues; (2) revealing the effects of heat processing on the profile changes of protein subfractions associated with digestive behaviors and kinetics manipulated by heat processing; (3) prediction of the changes of protein availability and supply after heat processing, using the advanced DVE/OEB and NRC-2001 models, and (4) obtaining information on optimal processing conditions of protein as intestinal protein source to achieve target values for potential high net absorbable protein in the small intestine. The information described in this article may give better insight in the mechanisms involved and the intrinsic protein molecular structural changes occurring upon processing.

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume 3 No. 2, 2007, 66-86


Submitted On: 25 November 2006 Published On: 30 June 2007

How to Cite: Yu, P. (2007). Protein Molecular Structures, Protein SubFractions, and Protein Availability Affected by Heat Processing: A Review. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 3(2), 66-86.

  • 55 Citations



  • Molecular chemistry
  • Synchrotron
  • Protein structures
  • α-helix
  • β-sheet
  • Protein amides
  • Protein subfractions
  • Modeling protein supply
  • Heat Processing