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Extraction and Film Properties of Kafirin from Coarse Sorghum and Sorghum DDGS by Percolation

Muhiwa, Peter J., Taylor, Janet, Taylor, John R. N.
Cereal chemistry 2017 v.94 no.4 pp. 693-698
Sorghum (Poaceae), bioenergy industry, bioplastics, centrifugation, crosslinking, distillers grains, ethanol, evaporation, filtration, flour, functional properties, in vitro digestibility, kafirins, models, solvents, starch, viability, washing, water uptake, zein
The high cost of kafirin and zein restricts their use for bioplastic and food applications. Effective, simple, and rapid kafirin/zein isolation processes are required. Here a percolation-type aqueous ethanol solvent extraction process from coarse meals (grits) and coarse sorghum distillers dried grains and solubles (DDGS) for kafirin and zein isolation employing a low ratio of extractant to meal (2.5:1) was investigated, which is potentially applicable in the grain bioethanol industry. Postextraction filtration times were more than twice as fast using coarse meals compared with fine flours. Washing the meals prior to extraction to remove starch improved protein preparation purity to 73–85% compared with 68–72% for unwashed meals. Hence, no subsequent filtration or centrifugation step is required to clean up the kafirin/zein solution prior to solvent evaporation. With a single extraction step, kafirin/zein yields were 48% (protein basis) for DDGS and 53–70% for washed sorghum/maize meals. Cast films were used as a model bioplastic system to evaluate extracted kafirin/zein functional properties. DDGS kafirin films had rough surfaces but had the lowest water uptake and in vitro digestibility, owing to heat-induced disulfide crosslinking during DDGS processing. Extraction by percolation using coarse meal/DDGS has potential to improve kafirin/zein viability.