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The exploration of microstructures and textures of protein based systems is essential to understand (oral) breakdown properties – and thereby textural aspects, or macroscopic functionalities such as water holding. Mechanical properties have been shown to relate to texture perception that may go from ‘spreadable’ to ‘crumbly’ for particulate and stranded gel networks, respectively. Texture is to a large extent determined by the properties of the structural elements and their mutual interactions. Understanding of how to control the energy balance with regard to microstructure and texture perception is of key importance for the food industry to modulate their products towards desired sensory properties, especially when new (alternative) protein sources are involved. This work sketches the potential of different types of structure elements made from gelatin, whey protein and soy protein to direct macroscopic behaviour, and shows that control over texture and macroscopic properties can be obtained by modulation of protein functionality at different levels of protein organization.

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