A combined experimental and molecular simulation study of factors influencing interaction of quinoa proteins–carrageenan



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The interaction between quinoa proteins isolate (QP isolate) and the negatively charged polysaccharide ι-Carragennan (Carr) as a function of pH was studied. Experimental measurements as turbidity, hydrophobic surface, ζ-potential, and hydrodynamic size were carried out. Associative interaction between QP and Carr was found in the pH range between 1 and 2.9. When both molecules are negatively charged (pH > 5,5), a pure Coulombic repulsion regime is observed and the self-association of QP due to the Carr exclusion is proposed. In the intermediate pH range, the experimental data suggests that the charge regulation mechanism can overcome the electrostatic repulsion that may take place (and an attraction between QP and Carr can still be observed). Computational simulations by means of free energy derivatives using the Monte Carlo method were carried out to better understand the interaction mechanism between QP and Carr. QP was modeled as a single protein using one of the major proteins, Chenopodin (Ch), and Carr was modeled as a negatively charged polyelectrolyte (NCP) chain, both in the cell model framework. Simulation results showed attractive interactions in agreement with the experimental data.

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Carrageenan, Quinoa Proteins, Complex Formation