The Great Protein Quality Opportunity
When I first started selling soy protein in 1996, I had to learn what protein quality was. In the old days we used PER – a measure of the effectiveness for protein to maintain health in rats. I am sure mothers around the world would have been comforted in knowing that the nutrition of their infant formula was based on what a baby rat needs – not a baby human. In the 80’s & 90’s a new protein quality measure was emerging, this one called PDCAAS – it measures the amino acids needed by humans and is based on the needs of preschool aged children. It remains the standard measure for protein quality today.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, protein is the building block of the human body, there is a minimum amount of specific, what we call “essential,” amino acids required for our bodies to function and remain healthy.
PDCAAS measures the essential amino acids present in protein sources to indicate protein quality. Egg is a perfect protein. Milk based products like whey protein and casein are perfect proteins.
Soy is a perfect protein.
Please remember, proteins are groups of amino acids and most foods contain protein. It’s just that not all proteins have all the essential amino acids.
Below are some common PDCASS values:
Whey Protein 1.00
Whole Egg 1.00
Soy Protein 1.00
Beef Protein 0.92
Pea Protein 0.88