WARF: P03388US

Method for Heat-Stabilizing Proteins to Protect Their Specific Binding Activities


Mark Cook, Mingder Yang, Mark Etzel

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method for protecting proteins from the high temperatures used in food processing.
OVERVIEWProteins that bind to specific target molecules can be added to food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products to achieve beneficial effects; however, the use of such proteins has been limited because many manufacturing processes involve a heating step that destroys the proteins’ specific binding activities. For example, various antibodies that promote growth and feed efficiency when added to animal feed can’t be included in the preferred pelleted form of the feed because the antibodies don’t survive the high temperatures of the pelleting process.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a method for stabilizing proteins that protects the proteins’ specific binding activities from the effects of heat. A protein is mixed with a saccharide compound in a liquid suspension, and the suspension is dried. In the dried suspension, the saccharide compound openly associates with the protein molecules to protect the protein’s specific binding activity from the destructive effects of heat. The protein can be readily released from its association with the saccharide when the protein reaches a target site, allowing it to achieve its biological activity.
  • Protecting proteins, including antibodies, enzymes and receptors, from high temperatures used in food processing
  • After heating, heat-stabilized antibodies retain 82 percent of the activity seen when antibodies are added to unheated food.
  • Allows use of antibodies in pelleted animal feeds
  • Improves the flow of animal feed products, making commercial production easier
  • Better enables commercial use of existing antibody technologies
  • Many of the saccharide compounds are safe for consumption by people and animals.
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or (608) 262-8638.
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