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Soybean Ferritin Forms an Iron-Containing Oligomer in Tofu Even after Heat Treatment

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2015, 00:00 by Taro Masuda
Ferritin, a multimeric iron storage protein distributed in almost all living kingdoms, has been highlighted recently as a nutritional iron source in plant-derived foodstuffs, because ferritin iron is suggested to have high bioavailability. In soybean seeds, ferritin contributes largely to the net iron contents. Here, the oligomeric states and iron contents of soybean ferritin during food processing (especially tofu gel formation) were analyzed. Ferritin was purified from tofu gel as an iron-containing oligomer (approximately 1000 Fe atoms per oligomer), which was composed of two types of subunits similar to the native soybean seed ferritin. Circular dichroism spectra also showed no differences in α-helical structure between native soybean ferritin and tofu ferritin. The present data demonstrate that ferritin was stable during the heat treatment (boiling procedure) in food processing, although partial denaturation was observed at temperatures higher than 80 °C.

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