Ultrasound: a suitable technology to improve the extraction and techno-functional properties of vegetable food proteins

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2021 Mar;76(1):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s11130-021-00884-w. Epub 2021 Feb 27.


Vegetable-based proteins may be extracted from different sources using different extraction methods, among them, ultrasound-assisted extraction stands out. This review presents the current knowledge on ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and the functional properties of extracted vegetable proteins. Ultrasound generates cavitation in a liquid medium, defined as gas and vapor microbubbles collapse under pressure changes large enough to separate them in the medium. Cavitation facilitates the solvent and solid interaction, increasing yield and reducing extraction periods and temperature used. Moreover, ultrasound treatment changed extracted protein properties such as solubility, hydrophobicity, emulsifying and foam, water and oil absorption capacity, viscosity, and gelatinization. Ultrasound-assisted extraction is a promising technique for the food technology sector, presenting low environmental impact, lower energy and solvent consumption, and it is in accordance with green chemistry technology and sustainable concepts.

Keywords: Cavitation; Extraction yield; Food ingredients; Green technology; Microbubbles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Fractionation*
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary*
  • Solvents
  • Technology
  • Vegetables


  • Plant Proteins, Dietary
  • Solvents