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Report, 2018

White proteins from green leaves in food applications

Nynäs, Anna-Lovisa


This introductory paper examines the current understanding of how green leaves could be utilized as a food source, and the importance of proteins in food structures. Green leaves have long been considered as a possible protein source for sustainable food and feed production. Proteins in green leaves can be divided into a white and green protein fraction. The white protein fraction is mainly RuBisCO, or ribulose-1,5-bisfosfat-caroboxylase/oxygenase, which has been called the most abundant protein in the world, while the green fraction consists of chlorophyll related proteins. A selection of reported leaf protein extraction methods are presented in this paper. Generally the first step of the process is the extraction of green juice, followed by a removal of the green protein fraction and a concentration and purification of the white protein fraction. The functional properties of proteins as gelling agents, emulsifiers and foam stabilizers are of great importance in many food systems. One example is the interfacial properties of a protein, which control the stabilization of foams and emulsions. In this paper the role of proteins in gels, emulsions and foams are reviewed, with emphasis on foams. Some of the methods and techniques used to observe and quantify these functional properties are mentioned, including imaging techniques and surface tensiometry analyses. Some methods used to assess the properties of the food structures are also presented.


leaf protein concentrate; RuBisCO; food structure; green biomass; food structure analysis

Published in

Introductory paper at the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science
2018, number: 2018:1
Publisher: Deparment of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)