Soy protein (SP), egg white protein (EP), and whey protein (WP) at 6% w/w were individually incorporated into the batter of a wheat starch (WS) and wheat gluten (WG) blend (11:1 w/w ratio). Moisture adsorption isotherms of WS and proteins and the viscosity, rheological behavior, and calorimetric properties of the batters were measured. Batter-breaded fish nuggets (BBFNs) were fried at 170 °C for 40 s followed by 190 °C for 30 s, and pick-up of BBFNs, thermogravimetric properties of crust, and fat absorption were determined. The moisture absorption capacity was the greatest for WS, followed by WG, SP, EP, and WP. The addition of SP significantly increased the viscosity and shear moduli (G″, G′) of batter and pick-up of BBFNs, while EP and WP exerted the opposite effect (p < 0.05). SP, EP, and WP raised WS gelatinization and protein denaturation temperatures and crust thermogravimetry temperature, but decreased enthalpy change (ΔH) and oily characteristics of fried BBFNs. These results indicate that hydrophilicity and hydration activity of the added proteins and their interactions with batter matrix starch and gluten reinforced the batter and the thermal stability of crust, thereby inhibiting fat absorption of the BBFNs during deep-fat frying.

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Published in Foods, v. 11, issue 2, 147.

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This research was funded by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 32072249 and Grant No. 31471612).

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The data presented in this study are as described in the individual figures and tables.

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