Quality protein maize functionality

Project lead: Prof John Taylor

There are undiscovered potential economic applications for Quality protein maize (QPM). This is where Professor John Taylor and his research team come in. QPM is a maize type with twice the amount of Lysine and Tryptophan compared to normal maize. This project focused on non-food applications of this grain by exploiting its superior protein functionality.

They have discovered that QPM maize has remarkable capacity to form hydrative gels. This finding makes the team believe QPM is suitable for high-value applications such as in starchgraft polymers, used in disposable nappies and wound dressings. Such polymers, due to using naturally-derived materials, would hence be biodegradable. Professor Taylor and his team have pushed the boundaries of knowledge by discovering novel applications of such plantbased materials. Two publications have come out of this particular project, one on extraction of the proteins and the second one on viscoelastic properties of these proteins.

This project is in collaboration with the USDA and Manhattan University.

- Author IFNuW

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