Nutritional quality of proteins

The nutritional quality of proteins and novel protein sources is based on several analytical techniques. With proteomic tools we are able to study profiles of complex mixtures of proteins and characterise and quantify individual proteins. These tools reveal the presence of (cryptic) bio-active peptides and proteins, including allergens, and is increasingly useful to monitor the digestive fate of proteins in vitro and in vivo.

Proteins are an important part of the diet and often represent an expensive part of food and feed. Not only the quantity but also the quality of the protein will impact their nutritional value, and nutritional quality of protein is of importance in the formulation of healthy and nutritious food and feed. Amino acid composition – in particular indispensable amino acid content - and bioavailability is considered as the first criterion for nutritional quality or value of dietary protein. More precise reference on the quality of the different protein sources is needed, as amino acid content and amino acid bioavailability are heavily dependent on the protein raw material source.