Sensory Improvement of a Pea Protein-Based Product Using Microbial Co-Cultures of Lactic Acid Bacteria and Yeasts

Foods. 2020 Mar 17;9(3):349. doi: 10.3390/foods9030349.


Consumer demands for plant-based products have increased in recent years. However, their consumption is still limited due to the presence of off-flavor compounds, primarily beany and green notes, which are mainly associated with the presence of aldehydes, ketones, furans, and alcohols. To overcome this problem, fermentation is used as a lever to reduce off-flavors. A starter culture of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) was tested in a 4% pea protein solution with one of the following yeasts: Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, or Torulaspora delbrueckii. The fermented samples were evaluated by a sensory panel. Non-fermented and fermented matrices were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to identify and quantify the volatile compounds. The sensory evaluation showed a significant reduction in the green/leguminous attributes of pea proteins and the generation of new descriptors in the presence of yeasts. Compared to the non-fermented matrix, fermentations with LAB or LAB and yeasts led to the degradation of many off-flavor compounds. Moreover, the presence of yeasts triggered the generation of esters. Thus, fermentation by a co-culture of LAB and yeasts can be used as a powerful tool for the improvement of the sensory perception of a pea protein-based product.

Keywords: beany; fermentation; green; lactic acid bacteria; pea protein; yeast.