Effects of water activity and lipid addition on secondary structure of zein in powder systems

Yukiko Mizutani, Yasuki Matsumura, Koreyoshi Imamura, Kazuhiro Nakanishi, Tomohiko Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of water activity (Aw) and lipid addition on the secondary structure of powdery zein were investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Two fatty acid esters, i.e., the linolenic and eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl esters (LAE and EPE), were mixed with the zein powder. The powders were stored in the "dry" state (with silica gel) and the "humid" state (Aw = 0.9). The powdery zein without the lipids was shown to have a high content of the intermolecular hydrogen-bonded β-sheet in the "dry" state, indicating the presence of protein aggregates. An increase in Aw induced a decrease in this β-sheet, concomitant with increases in the α-helix and β-turn structures. The addition of LAE caused decreases in the α-helix and intermolecular hydrogen-bonded β-sheet of zein when the powder was stored in the "humid" state, suggesting the strong interaction of LAE and zein molecules. However, LAE did not affect the secondary structure of zein in the "dry" state. The addition of EPE hardly influenced the secondary structure of zein, irrespective of Aw. These results are discussed in relation to the antioxidative activity of zein in the powder system, which had studied previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003


  • EPE
  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • LAE
  • Powder system
  • Secondary structure
  • Water activity
  • Zein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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