Food Science and Technology Department


First Advisor

Kaustav Majumder

Date of this Version

Winter 12-2022


Newton, A. (2022) Evaluating the Efficacy of Germination and Fermentation in Producing Biologically Active Peptides from Pulses. M.S. Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Food Science and Technology, Under the Supervision of Professor Kaustav Majumder. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2022

Copyright © 2022 Ashley Newton


Recently, there has been a profound increase in demand of plant-based proteins, especially pulse proteins. However, pulses contain high concentrations of antinutritional factors that hinder the digestibility of proteins. Processing techniques such as enzymatic hydrolysis, microbial fermentation, and physical processing modulate nutritional quality and functionality of pulses. Processing also releases peptides from parent proteins that exhibit health-beneficial bioactivity against various disease risk factors. In this study, germination, gastrointestinal digestion, and microbial fermentation were evaluated to determine the nutritional quality and release of bioactive peptides during and after processing.

Germination of chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) modulated the protein profile, and the addition of simulated gastrointestinal digestion improved digestibility of chickpea proteins. Germinated and digested chickpeas exhibited high antioxidant activity in an in vitro cell model, but the peptide profile obtained through mass spectrometry revealed no significant differences in di- and tripeptides identified in chickpeas.

Microbial fermentation was performed on Great Northern beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) with Limosilactobacillus reuteri LTH5448, which is a strain known for producing bioactive gamma-glutamyl peptides. Microbial fermentation effectively modulated the total peptide concentration of Great Northern beans. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed changes in concentration of several gamma-glutamyl peptides and the fermented extract exhibited in vitro anti-inflammatory activity. This study empowers the plant protein industry on how processing methods can modulate the nutritional profile and produce health beneficial compounds from whole pulses.

Advisor: Kaustav Majumder