Protein yield was strongly governed by post-harvest stabilization method.
Freeze/thawing doubled total protein yield of the process.
Functional properties of proteins were remarkably affected by stabilization method.
Structure and molecular weight of proteins were governed by stabilization method.
Structural, functional and nutritional properties of protein recovered from brown seaweed, S. latissima with alkaline solubilization/isoelectric precipitation as a function of different post-harvest stabilization methods were studied. The latter included freezing at −20 °C/-80 °C, oven-drying, sun-drying, freeze-drying and ensilaging. Also, the efficacy of freeze/thaw-aided precipitation (F/T) in improving protein recovery of the process was evaluated. The freeze-dried, oven-dried, and −20 °C frozen seaweeds resulted in significantly higher protein yield than the −80°C-frozen, sun-dried and ensiled biomasses. F/T increased protein precipitation and doubled total protein yield. Sun-drying and −20°C-freezing caused extensive protein degradation as revealed by SDS-PAGE and HP-SEC, while oven-drying altered the seaweed protein structure with less α-helices. Functional properties of the seaweed proteins were remarkably affected by stabilization condition and F/T, but nutritional value of the proteins was only dependent on stabilization method. Thus, to efficiently recover seaweed proteins, its post-harvest stabilization condition must be carefully chosen based on the final application of the proteins.
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