Protein Quality in Medical Nutrition
What is Protein Quality and How is it Determined?
Protein quality is the capacity of a protein source to meet amino acid requirements to satisfy metabolic needs1,2. Protein quality can be assessed by several different methods, such as Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS), Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS), biological value, and protein efficiency ratio.
PDCAAS is a method of assessing protein quality that has been recommended by the Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization1,2. PDCAAS is based on the total protein digestibility and amino acid score of the protein source. A protein source with a PDCAAS of 1 is considered high quality3.
Why is Protein Quality Important in Medical Nutrition?
As malnourished patients have increased protein requirements and decreased protein intake4, ensuring high quality protein becomes even more important. Offering medical nutrition products that provide the right protein quantity and quality is crucial to help meet patients’ requirements to support building body protein and maintaining bodily functions5-9.
Can Plant-Based Medical Nutrition Products Meet Patients’ Protein Requirements?
Yes. Protein isolates are a refined form of protein that contain very high levels of protein and very little carbohydrates, fibre or fat10. By using protein isolates in plant-based medical nutrition products, it is possible to achieve levels of protein that can help meet patients’ requirements.
Amount of Protein Isolate required to Provide 30g of Protein11.
|Protein Isolate||Amount Required to Provide 30g Protein|
Can Protein Sources used in Plant-Based Medical Nutrition Products be Considered High Quality?
Yes, protein from both dairy and plant sources can meet standards for protein quality and be considered high quality1, and therefore meet the needs of patients requiring medical nutrition products.
Having a range of medical nutrition products with different sources of blends of high-quality protein can help to accommodate patient lifestyle preferences or medical needs.
Protein Quality of Fortimel PlantBased Energy
Our new plant-based oral nutritional supplement, Fortimel PlantBased Energy, contains a high-quality blend of pea and soy protein isolates that can help meet your patient’s protein requirements to support building body protein and body functions5-9.
What is Protein Quality?
Want to learn more about protein quality? Watch our video explaining the fundamentals of protein quality, how it’s assessed and how protein from both dairy and plant sources can be considered high quality.
Infographic: Protein Quality in Medical Nutrition
This infographic explains protein quality and demonstrates the protein quality of dairy and plant proteins used in medical nutrition assessed using PDCAAS.
Protein Quality Summit: Demystifying Protein Quality in Medical Nutrition
This educational event, held by Nutricia during the ESPEN 2022 congress, included presentations from international experts on the topic of protein quality, it’s relevance in clinical conditions, and how standards for protein quality can be met with both dairy, plant, and blends of different protein sources.
Watch the Full Session Recording Here:
Watch the Individual Speaker Presentations here:
“Protein Quality 101 for Healthcare Professionals”
– Prof. Luc van Loon
“Protein Catabolism in ICU & Amino Acid Dynamics: Implications for Protein Used & Amino Acids Supplied”
– Dr. Lee-anne Chapple
“Drivers, Obstacles and Solutions to Inadequate Protein Intake in Non-Critically Ill Malnourished Patients”
– Prof. Maurizio Muscaritoli
“Protein Quality in Medical Nutrition”
– Dr. Yvette Luiking
- Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation. 2013.
- Report of an FAO Expert Consultation. 2013.
- Huang et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018;58, 15:267308.
- Kruizenga et al. Clin Nutr Open Sci. 2022; 41:47-81.
- Bauer et al. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013; 14.8:542-559.
- Hurt et al. Nutr Clin Pract. 2017;32:142S-51S.
- Ochoa Gautier et al. Nutr Clin Pract. 2017;32:62-14S.
- Rostom & Shine. Surgery. 2018;36:153-8.
- Hou et al. Exp Biol Med. 201;240:997-1007.
- Garba & Kaur. Int J Curr Res. 2014; 06:35-45.
- Gorissen et al. Amino Acids. 2018; 50:1685-95.