Preparation of esterified derivatives of α-lactalbumin and investigation of their antibacterial activity

Negar Ghorbani, Abdol-Khalegh Bordbar, Asghar Taheri-Kafrani, Akbar Vaseghi


α-lactalbumin (α-La) is one of the major milk proteins that in addition of nutritional value it can get many other useful novel functions such as antiviral and tumoricidal activities via structural modifications by enzyme or chemical methods. Several researches show antiviral activity of esterified milk proteins because of their new functional properties followed by structural modifications. In this research, the hypothesis based on antibacterial activity of esterified α-La was examined. The esterification reaction as an important tool for modifying food proteins was employed in this study by using different alcohols under strong acidic condition at 4 °C for 3 days. α-La was esterified to the extent of 53.8%, 34.95%, 32.2% , 6.07% and 46.8% with methanol, ethanol, 1-butanol, 2-pentanol and 1-hexanol, respectively, showed the influence of molar ratio, type of used alcohol and time of reaction on the reaction yield. Then the effects of esterified derivatives of α-La were tested on the growth of some positive and negative gram bacteria(including Bacillus cereus, methicylin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella) by disc assay. After 24-48 h incubation, no inhibition zone surrounding the discs was observed which represents the fail of any antibacterial activity of α-La and its esterified derivatives.


α-lactalbumin; protein esterification; antibacterial activity; milk protein

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