From a Single-Stage to a Two-Stage Countercurrent Extraction of Lipids and Proteins from Full-Fat Chickpea Flour: Maximizing Process Extractability and Economic Feasibility
The mainstream adoption of chickpea proteins and lipids requires a thorough understanding of the impact of critical extraction parameters (enzyme use, reaction time, and solids-to-liquid ratio&mdash;SLR) and modes of extraction (single-stage extraction&mdash;SSE and countercurrent extraction&mdash;CCE) on the simultaneous extraction of lipids and proteins from full-fat chickpea flour and economic process feasibility. A kinetics study revealed that 68.5% oil and 87% protein extraction yields can be achieved using 0.5% protease at pH 9.0, 50 &deg;C, 60 min, and 1:10 SLR, highlighting the role of proteolysis and an adequate incubation time on overall extractability. An increased gradient concentration between the matrix and aqueous media solutes at a lower SLR (1:15), and reduced slurry viscosity increased oil and protein extractability to 80 and 91%, respectively. The high-water usage in the SSE was addressed by the development of a two-stage CCE that reduced water usage by 47% while increasing oil and protein extractability to ~96%. Higher extractability and reduced water usage in the two-stage CCE resulted in a higher net gross profit, thus outweighing its higher operating costs. The results presented herein further widen the scope of bioprocessing standards for full-fat chickpea flour and add to the elucidation of the impact of key processing conditions on the extractability and economic feasibility of the production of chickpea ingredients for subsequent food/nutraceutical applications.