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Asymmetric flow field flow fractionation for the investigation of caseins cross-linked by microbial transglutaminase

Abbate, Raffaele Andrea, Raak, Norbert, Boye, Susanne, Janke, Andreas, Rohm, Harald, Jaros, Doris, Lederer, Albena
Food hydrocolloids 2019 v.92 pp. 117-124
casein, crosslinking, enzymatic treatment, fractionation, hydrocolloids, hydrodynamics, light scattering, molecular weight, protein-glutamine gamma-glutamyltransferase
The cross-linking of caseins with microbial transglutaminase (mTGase) was investigated using asymmetric flow field flow fractionation in combination with static and dynamic light scattering detections (AF4-MALS-DLS). This approach allows determining molar mass, molecular size, scaling properties, and apparent densities of casein aggregates prior to and after enzymatic treatment. The results show that, as a consequence of non-covalent interactions, casein molecules associate to form elongated aggregates with a molar mass (Mw) ranging from approx. 4 × 105 to 1.2 × 106 g mol−1, and a mean radius of gyration (Rg,z) of approx. 16 nm. Upon enzymatic treatment with mTGase, casein aggregates become more compact as Mw increases but Rg decreases with ongoing cross-linking reaction. In contrast, the hydrodynamic radius (Rh) distribution determined by online DLS is rather unaffected by enzymatic cross-linking, indicating that mTGase cross-links casein molecules mainly within distinct aggregates. Furthermore, extensive enzymatic treatments with mTGase change the molecular shapes of casein aggregates towards more compact and denser spherical structures.