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Protein-protein crosslinking in food: Proteomic characterisation methods, consequences and applications

McKerchar, Hannah J., Clerens, Stefan, Dobson, Renwick C.J., Dyer, Jolon M., Maes, Evelyne, Gerrard, Juliet A.
Trends in food science & technology 2019 v.86 pp. 217-229
crosslinking, dietary protein, food industry, food processing, food quality, foods, mass spectrometry, protein structure, protein-glutamine gamma-glutamyltransferase, proteins, proteomics
Although formation of protein-protein crosslinks during food processing is known to influence food properties, a detailed molecular view of this crosslinking is still lacking. Even in the case of enzymatic crosslinking, such as with transglutaminase, which is commonly used in the food industry to induce crosslinking in food proteins, questions remain. Understanding the mechanisms of protein crosslinking is crucial to understanding how inherent beneficial characteristics of food can be preserved and enhanced, and therefore how quality, safety and function can be improved.This work reviews recent developments in the study of crosslinking in food proteins. The advantages and limitations of varying proteomic techniques for evaluating protein-protein crosslinking in foods are discussed and areas of future study suggested.The advent of mass spectrometry-based approaches for identifying chemically induced crosslinks in proteins has introduced a welcome set of tools to elucidate protein structure. However, despite this progress, crosslinks that occur naturally in food or form during processing, continue to present unique challenges that have yet to be wholly overcome in studying complex food systems.