Measuring Proteins for Claims Presentation

Originally Published: July 6, 2016
Last Updated: March 9, 2021

“Measuring Proteins for Claims” was presented at the 2016 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar by David Plank, Senior Technical Manager, Medallion Labs.

Abstract: In marketing protein products, manufacturers must first quantify the amount of quality protein to satisfy labeling requirements. The current standard for measuring protein quality is a rat digestibility model used in combination with amino acid analysis known as the PDCAAS method. This expensive, time consuming method can result in delayed product development timelines and protein over-fortification. Animal testing is also counter to many brands supporting environmental consciousness. This presentation reviewed regulatory requirements for making a protein claim, processing factors impacting protein quality and research on a new, non-animal PDCAAS method which correlates well to the rat PDCAAS method.

Excerpt from the written summary of this presentation: PDCAAS limitations, including required animal testing, high cost, lengthy turn-around time and large sample size requirement, have caused some to look for alternatives to this test. Medallion Labs has developed a test method called ASAP Quality Score that is comparable to PDCAAS, and it is animal-safe, less expensive and takes less time, said Plank.

If a protein claim is made, the FDA requires a food to contain at least 10% of the daily value per serving. Total grams of protein listed on package is crude protein (total nitrogen times a protein factor). But, in order to calculate the 10% DV threshold required to make a Nutrient Content Claim or Structure Function Claim; to list the protein source; or to call out the number of grams of protein on the label, the PDCAAS is required. If the PDCAAS result shows 10% DV for protein per serving of food, then the product is good to make a protein claim. Animal protein sources score high in quality, with a PDCAAS of 1. In comparison, plant sources score less than 1, due to one or more limiting amino acid(s).

Click here to view the written summary “Making a Claim: Factors Impacting Protein Quality” of this presentation.

Click on the button below to download a PDF of Plant’s PowerPoint presentation “Measuring Proteins for Claims.”


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