Nutritional Improvement of Food Proteins by Means of the Plastein Reaction and its Novel Modification

  • Soichi Arai
  • Michiko Yamashita
  • Masao Fujimaki
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 105)


The paper reviews recent studies in the application of the plastein reaction for the improvement of amino acid compositions of food proteins; it describes in a large measure the specific incorporation of amino acid esters into protein hydrolysate during the plastein reaction with papain. The information obtained from this specificity study has been found useful in the improvement of several unconventional as well as conventional proteins by incorporating controlled amounts of essential amino acids through the plastein reaction. Prior to carrying out this reaction, however, it is necessary to prepare a protein hydrolysate as its substrate. The entire process thus requires two independent steps: enzymatic protein hydrolysis and resynthesis. In very recent work we have found it possible to incorporate amino acid esters directly into protein by one step when a proper reaction condition has been adopted. This novel “one-step process” is also discussed in comparison with the conventional plastein reaction.


Ethyl Ester Essential Amino Acid Butyl Ester Amino Acid Ester Amino Acid Incorporation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soichi Arai
    • 1
  • Michiko Yamashita
    • 1
  • Masao Fujimaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ChemistryUniversity of TokyoBunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113Japan

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