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New Method for Extracting Antimicrobial Protein from Eggs

02 June 2015

US researchers have found a way to extract a protein with antimicrobial properties from eggs, without using any organic solvents such as alcohol or acetone.

Ovotransferrin is a monomeric glycoprotein, which is known to have a strong antimicrobial activity, and thus can be used to improve the safety of foods.

In addition, the peptides derived from broken down ovotransferrin also have an ability to control microorganisms. Therefore, both ovotransferrin and its peptide components can be used as antimicrobial agents in foods.

In order to achieve extraction of the protein without using organic solvents, the egg whites were diluted with distilled water (DW), and then homogenized, and other components of the egg white were removed through centrifugation.

Ammonium sulfate and citric acid were then used to extract the ovotransferrin, and the scientists concentrated the product to make it easier to use.

After that, they determined the purity of the product, checked the identity of the protein, and calculated the yield freeze drying.

The scientists managed to achieve over 85 per cent purity and over 83 per cent yield were obtained from the extractions, using a combination of citric acid and ammonium sulfate to extract the proteins. They said that the method was simple and cost effective.

The isolated ovotransferrin can be used as is, or after modifications, for various applications such as antimicrobial, anticancer treatments, and iron supplementing agents for human consumption.

Click here to view the research paper, written by three scientists from Iowa State University.



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