• Ditaxis heterantha ;
  • Euphorbiaceae;
  • functional properties;
  • protein characterization


Ditaxis heterantha is a plant of the Euphorbiaceae family that grows in semiarid regions of Mexico. It produces yellow pigmented seeds that are used for coloring of foods. The seeds contain about 20% of proteins. Proteins of D. heterantha were extracted and fractionated on the basis of solubility. Three main protein fractions were obtained: glutelins, 488 ± 0.5; albumins, 229 ± 2; and total globulins, 160 ± 1 g/kg. The amino acid profile was evaluated for each fraction and protein isolated, where the protein isolate contains essential amino acids such as Val, Phe, Tyr, and Leu. A calorimetric study showed that globulins and glutelins have a high denaturing temperature between 100 and 106°C, while albumins showed a denaturing temperature at 76°C. The protein isolate and its fractions exhibited functional properties: the isolated protein demonstrated good oil-holding capacity of 40.7 g/kg. Foam capacity (FC) and foam stability (FS) were observed principally in glutelins and globulins where FC maximum was 330% and the FS was 28 min. The emulsifying capacity was observed in the same fractions of glutelins and globulins, followed by albumins. However, the glutelin fraction in particular was the only fraction that exhibited emulsifying stability at pH 5, 6, and 7. Gelling capacity was observed in albumins and globulins. This study indicated that protein isolated from D. heterantha could be used in food formulations due to its essential amino acid profile. Glutelin could be used as an emulsifying additive. Additionally, glutelin and globulin were stable at temperatures above 100°C; this is an important factor in food industry, principally in heat processes.