advertisement
07 December 2011

Soy is on top as a high-quality plant protein

The importance of protein in the human body is undeniable. However, the idea of what makes a protein a "quality protein" has not been as easy to determine.

0

The importance of protein in the human body is undeniable. However, the idea of what makes a protein a "quality protein" has not been as easy to determine. A new study from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry Takes a closer look at the criteria for determining the quality of a protein.

Traditional methods for determining protein quality have shown animal proteins such as milk and eggs to be high in quality.

 However, those who are interested in a plant-based diet, or diversifying their proteins, have a more difficult time determining which of their choices are high in quality. Testing methods have shown most plant proteins, such as pea protein, are lower in quality than animal-based proteins.

"Accurate methods for determining protein quality are key to helping people plan a healthful diet," said Glenna Hughes, MS, research scientist at Solae. "Due to the increasing interest in including plant-based proteins in the diet, accurate information on protein quality is needed in scientific literature to help educate consumers and healthcare professionals on this topic."

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend using the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) as a simple and scientific procedure for assessing protein quality.

High-quality protein

The PDCAAS methodology focuses on three different parameters: the amount of each essential amino acid the protein contains, how easily the protein can be digested, and by taking both of those parameters into account, whether the protein meets the FAO/WHO's amino acid requirements set for children aged two to five years, as they have higher needs to support growth and development than adults.

According to this study, soy protein has a PDCAAS of 1.00, meaning it is a high-quality protein that meets the needs of both children and adults.

Eggs, dairy and meat proteins also have a PDCAAS score of 1.0. However, soy protein is the only widely available high-quality plant-based protein that achieves this score.

"It's important for people to understand that a plant-based diet is healthy, but that not all proteins are created equal," said Connie Diekman, RD, LD, FADA.

"If you are planning a vegetarian diet or want to incorporate plant-based proteins in your diet, understanding protein quality using the PDCAAS scale can allow you to select proteins that score higher, such as soy, to ensure that you are getting the essential amino acids you need."

(EurekAlert, December 2011)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.