Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory drugs have been used as therapeutic tools in the clinical management of hypertension and associated cardiovascular disorders. Food-derived ACE-inhibitory peptides have lower potency than similar acting drugs but the peptides usually have no adverse side effects and there is virtually no risk of overdosing that is associated with drugs. This review summarizes several patents that have reported the development of technologies for the production of potent food protein-derived hydrolysates and peptides, which can be used to formulate antihypertensive functional foods and nutraceuticals. A common process to all the patents is the use of proteases to split large inactive proteins into smaller bioactive peptides. Ultrafiltration may be combined with liquid chromatography methods to separate the peptides according to size alone or a combination of size and charge density, respectively. Efficacy of the protein hydrolysates or peptide fractions is evaluated first in an in vitro system and may then be confirmed by measuring their hypotensive ability in an appropriate animal model such as the spontaneously hypertensive rats. Finally, protein hydrolysates or peptide fractions that have hypotensive ability may then be used to formulate foods, beverages or pills that can be taken as therapeutic tools against hypertension.
Keywords: Bioactive peptides, angiotensin converting enzyme, antihypertensive, food proteins, membrane ultrafiltration, protein hydrolysate, spontaneously hypertensive rats
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