A chickpea protein isolate (CPI) was oxidized using peroxyl radicals derived from 2,2'-azobis (2-amidopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH), and the structural and foaming properties of the oxidized CPI were evaluated. The oxidation degree of protein was determined by measuring carbonyl content, dimer tyrosine content, free thiol content, and total thiol content. The structural changes of oxidized protein were evaluated by surface hydrophobicity, endogenous fluorescence intensity, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, SDS-PAGE, and amino acid content changes. Compared with the control group (0 mmol/L AAPH), moderate oxidation (0.04 mmol/L AAPH) led to the formation of a soluble protein with flexibility, which could improve the foaming properties of the protein (foaming capacity and stability increased by 25.50% and 6.38%, respectively). Over-oxidized (25 mmol/L AAPH) protein exhibited improved foaming capability, but its foam stability was reduced owing to the formation of insoluble aggregates. The results indicate that oxidation can change protein conformation, and the protein structure can affect the foamability of the CPI. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: CPI is a protein supplement food. Protein oxidation can occur during processing and storage, thereby affecting protein function. In this study, we evaluated how peroxy free radicals affect the structure, solubility and foaming properties of CPI, and clarified the mechanism between them. It has been found that peroxy free radicals can accelerate the oxidation of proteins and have a significant effect on foaming. Therefore, the degree of oxidation should be controlled to improve the quality of CPI.
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