Bioeconomy Food

Plant protein functionalization

Written by: Dilek Ercili-Cura — Senior Scientist


To create functional food ingredients from plant proteins.


Modifying plant-based material with bio- and thermo-mechanical processes.



Dilek Ercili-Cura, Senior Principal Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Food Solutions

Dilek Ercili-Cura in brief

“My ambition is to create solutions for a sustainable food chain. This involves directing of agri and food industry side streams back into food and feed industry as protein ingredients, reduction of food waste and also creating alternative protein sources for future generations”, says Dilek Ercili-Cura.

Her research work mainly involves assessment and modification of techno-functional properties of food proteins such as solubility, gelling, emulsifying, foaming, water and fat binding. She has studied enzymatic crosslinking of dairy proteins and links between the structure and function in various food models.

Plant-based ingredients are mostly multicomponent systems. Interactions of proteins and other macromolecules play a major role on functionality. VTT develops processes to improve protein and/or ingredient applicability in food matrices using bioprocessing and thermo-mechanical tools.

The work of the team is based on VTT’s vision Food Economy 4.0 where the aim is to develop sustainable and healthy food ingredients and consumer-centric food solutions by agile manufacturing and monitoring.

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