Antifreeze Proteins: Their New Roles and Potential Impact on Food Product Development

X. Wen
California State University Los Angeles,
United States

Keywords: proteins,sugars, nucleosides, enzymes, ice

Summary:

Antifreeze Proteins: Their New Roles and Potential Impact on Food Product Development Antifreeze proteins (AFPs), identified in many cold-adapted organisms, such as fish, insect, plant, bacteria, and fungi, provide protection for these organisms from freeze damage. Despite their diverse origins and structures, AFPs have been known for their unique ability of depressing the freezing point of water in a non-colligative manner as well as inhibiting the growth and recrystallization of ice by recognizing specific ice crystal faces for decades. In addition to ice and ice-like solids, AFPs have been recently demonstrated to control the crystallization of non-ice like compounds in a highly effective manner. Interestingly, the identified non-ice like compounds including certain carbohydrates and nucleosides are common ingredients used in food industry with potential problems. Furthermore, a beetle AFP has been recently shown to effectively protect a model freeze-labile enzyme under repeated freeze-thaw treatments. These new findings for AFPs expand the applications of AFPs in industries. Here, these new roles for AFPs with their potential applications as multifunctional food ingredients and their potential impact on food product formulation and development are discussed.