Nutritional quality of protein

Proteins are primary building materials for the human body, providing 9 essential amino acids that humans cannot synthesize. Most animal-sourced proteins contain all essential amino acids and are relatively easily digestible. Many plant-sourced proteins are low in at least one amino acid, and some can be harder to digest due to the plant cell matrix and/or the presence of anti-nutritional factors. While most rich-country adults get more than enough protein from sufficiently varied sources, specific target groups like the elderly do not. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops knowledge to understand the nutritional quality of proteins from a variety of sources, and to help industry partners develop sustainable, nutritious products for their consumers.

Protein bioavailability: from literature search to clinical study

From literature research, biochemical analysis, and short- and long-term human clinical trials: Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is a reliable and internationally recognized partner for companies developing proteins and protein-rich products. Our experts have been conducting clinical research for decades, including numerous studies comparing proteins from a variety of traditional and new sources. Wageningen nutritionists and physiologists work closely with product and process technologists who provide globally recognized expertise in proteins.

Protein for children, elderly and top athletes

How does protein supplementation prevent muscle loss in the elderly? Which proteins are most suitable for promoting muscle recovery after exercise? Developing products for special target groups is a complex task. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps protein suppliers and food companies to understand the health effects of proteins and to substantiate them scientifically, and to develop products tailored to the needs of appropriate target groups. This increases the likelihood that new proteins and protein-rich products will be approved by the authorities, as well as the chance of success in the market.

Sustainable future proteins

Understanding the nutritional value and biological activity of proteins from sustainable sources such as insects, legumes and micro-organisms was the goal of Sustainable Future Proteins (2016-2019). The project - a collaboration between Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, technology suppliers and food companies – has, amongst other insights, developed a toolbox that enables quick and efficient assessment of the extent to which sustainable proteins can replace less-sustainable options in a product or diet.
To develop an innovative, scientifically-based program in which older people regularly do weight training and consume protein-rich nutrition. That was the goal of ProMuscle in Practice (2016-2019), a collaboration between Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, the Alliance Nutrition Gelderse Vallei and a number of food companies and health insurers.

Want to know more?

Looking to produce high-protein products with scientifically-proven health effects for the elderly, children and other special target groups? Contact us for a no-obligation conversation.