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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Institut Agro Carnot_Qualiment

Internet de l'unité STLO Science et Technologie du Lait et de l'Oeuf

STLO Research Unit

Interactions - Structures - Functionalities of Proteins

Protein and Lipid physico-chemistry team


Dr Saïd Bouhallab

Dr Saïd Bouhallab

Leader of Interactions Structures & Functionalities of Proteins team
Phone: +33(0)2 23 48 57 42
Read all about our LATEST MAIN RESULTS at the bottom of this page


Proteins are the main components of human food diets. They drive the main properties of food products. Through their spontaneous or induced structuration and the various involved interactions, they modulate techno-functional (texture, foams, emulsions), organoleptic and nutritional (digestibility, bioavailability) properties of the formulated products.

Context & Ambition

The ambition of the Interactions, Structures & Functionalities of Proteins (ISFP) team is to assess the exact role of food proteins in processed and formulated products and to discover their potential new properties as functional ingredients for the development of innovative "clean label" food products.

Our research objective is to understand how interactions and structural modifications at all scales from nano- to macroscopic level affect the nutritional and functional properties of food proteins. The ultimate idea is to explore molecular and supramolecular mechanisms behind the macroscopic behavior of these macromolecules.

Our strategies

Two kinds of research. We conduct both fundamental and applied research in tandem based on a multifaceted approach including multiscale, from molecular to macroscopic, multisystem, from purified components to complex matrices and combining experimental and theoretical works. Our subtrates include caseins and globular proteins, from both animal and plant origin.

Research projects

  • Structural characterisation of proteins at interfaces and impact on foaming and emulsifying properties
  • Mechanisms behind the interactions and assemblies in heteroprotein systems that lead to liquid-liquid and liquid-solid phase separation processes
  • Role of heat-induced protein assemblies during sol-gel transition and acid or enzymatic gelation.

Our skills & Expertise

Structural biochemistry, Analytical biochemistry and Biophysics applied in model systems such as proteins in solution as well as in complex systems such as food matrix, cheese, and yogurt, mixes of animal and plant proteins.

Main technical facilities: Chromatography, Mass spectrometry, Microscopy, Fluorescence and Infrared Spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction, Light scattering, Interface related techniques, Rheology, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry.


People ISFPL


Saïd BOUHALLAB (Senior scientist, Team leader)
Ghazi Ben Messaoud (scientist)

Valérie BRIARD-BION (scientist)
Thomas CROGUENNEC (scientist)
Marie-Hélène FAMELART (scientist)
Fanny GUYOMARC'H (scientist)
Valérie LE CHEVALIER (scientist)
Stéphane PEZENNEC (scientist)
Florence ROUSSEAU (scientist)
Pascaline HAMON (technician)

PhD Students: Jian Kuang, Rima Hachfi-Soussi, Ralph Nehme, 

Engineer under fixed-term contract: Islem Mtibaa, Eric Juste


The casein micelle

How does cheese manufacture begin?

Cheese manufacture begins with a specific hydrolysis of one protein of milk, a casein, that is located at the surface of a macrostructure called the...
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vignette plant-dairy mix

Mixed dairy-plant products: “I find this is a good idea but… I cannot say why…” – Putting words on a new type of food.

Reducing consumption of animal-based protein in favor of plant-based protein in Western diets is a way to mitigate the pressure of our diet on the...
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a drop of coacervates

Protein coacervates with extremely high viscosity!

Two or more proteins with opposite electric charges can co-assemble and form a separate dense phase called coacervates. Knowing the fundamental...
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Protein adsorption at the air–water: when the charge sign matters

When proteins adsorb to the air–water interface, the magnitude of their charge affects the formation and properties of the adsorption layer. What...
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All results of Protein & Lipid Physico-Chemistry team

All results of Protein & Lipid Physico-Chemistry team