Influence of cysteine and methionine availability on protein peroxide scavenging activity and phenolic stability in emulsions

Lisa Zhou, Ryan J. Elias

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9 Scopus citations


Plant phenolics are secondary metabolites that have been shown to confer beneficial health effects in humans. However, many of these compounds undergo metal-catalysed oxidation reactions, leading to the generation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and other reactive oxygen species that may negatively impact product stability. In proteins, methionine (Met) and cysteine (Cys) are capable of reacting directly with peroxides. Thus, the dairy proteins, casein (CAS) and β-lactoglobulin (BLG), were examined for their ability to scavenge H2O2 (400 μM) and influence (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) oxidation (400 μM) in Tween- or sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-stabilised hexadecane emulsions. To examine the effect that the accessibility of these amino acids have on their peroxide scavenging activities, proteins were pre-treated with tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP), a bulky peroxide, to oxidise only solvent accessible Met residues or H 2O2, the smallest peroxide, to oxidise buried Met residues. In CAS treatments, higher Met content yielded greater peroxide scavenging activity and EGCG stability. CAS treatments also showed significantly higher peroxide scavenging activity compared to the corresponding BLG treatment. However, BLG peroxide scavenging activity was greatly enhanced in SDS-stabilised emulsions due to protein denaturation and subsequent exposure of previously buried Cys residues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-530
Number of pages10
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science

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