Special edition: Protein!


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Special edition: Protein!

Related tags: Protein, Nutrition

From building muscle to satiety and reducing the risk of sarcopenia, protein is hot. The ingredient has been ever present in our headlines in 2013, and in this special edition we look at the key developments that are sure to influence this powerful trend.

Protein blending

Protein was the subject of a round table discussion at our recent Sports & Lifestyle Nutrition 2013 online event.

John Heiss, PhD, Director of Sports and Fitness, Herbalife, Ralf Jaeger, PhD, President of Milwaukee-based consultancy Increnovo LLC, and Mieke Acda, Technical Sales Support Manager Nutrition, FrieslandCampina DMV, debated the current science and market positioning of protein, with protein blends expected to become increasingly prevalent in sports nutrition products​, but the science needs to catch up to the possibilities.

This echoed statements from Jose Antonio, PhD, CEO of the International Society for Sports Nutrition (ISSN)​. In an interview with NutraIngredients-USA, Dr Antonio said: “Whey has been the 'king' of all proteins ​vis a vis its application to sports/bodybuilding.  I think blends may end up surpassing singular protein sources. 

A study funded by Solae and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research​ found that post-workout consumption of a blend of soy and dairy protein may outperform single protein sources for prolonging amino acid delivery and building muscle.

The study compared the use of a blend of soy, whey and casein to provide a complementary amino acid profiles with different digestion rates with a single protein source (whey) for muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise.

Protein quality

Much debate is ongoing about measuring protein quality. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) recently recommended using the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) method to measure protein quality, to replace its previous preferred method: the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS).

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) welcomed the DIAAS as “clearly demonstrating the superiority” ​of dairy proteins over plant proteins​.

In response, the European soy sector said that this is only meaningful for the malnourished​.

Novel protein sources

We’ve covered a number of emerging protein sources, from pea protein to fish protein, and all the signs point to a great future for these ingredients.

In our article, which explored if the US pea protein market is ‘ready to explode’​, Bruno Gehin, corporate product manager – proteins for Roquette, told us: “Comparing to dairy proteins amino acid profile, our pea protein Nutralys is closer to caseinate than lactoserum but is also very complementary to whey proteins, in particular for sports nutrition products.”

Another new entrant onto the market is Bluewave Marine Ingredients’ AminoMarine​. California’s Genomyx launched the first dietary supplement for sports nutrition containing the ingredient at the recent Arnold Expo in Columbus, OH.

“In working so closely with the developer of this hydrolyzed fish peptide product, Genomyx can claim to offer the purest and cleanest protein option available; a fat- and oil-free option also devoid of manmade antibiotics, hormones, and any genetic modification(s),”​ said Armando Lopez, Genomyx’s CEO.

Plant based

Canola protein has also hit the headlines recently, with BioExx’s canola protein hydrolysates and isolates “wholly comparable to soy protein isolate”​ for amino acid bioavailability in humans, according to a recent study from Germany.

“From the results of the bioavailability study dealing with potentially new protein sources it can be concluded that the [canola] proteins investigated are of relevance to the nutrition in general and to the clinical nutrition, too,”​ wrote researchers from Friedrich Schiller University and Georg August University.

Burcon, the Canadian company behind the Clarisoy and Peazzazz protein products, is encouraged by the overall market dynamics. Johann Tergesen, president and COO of Burcon NutraScience, recently said that launching high quality protein ingredients is ‘timely’​ as the world seeks out sustainable, plant-based protein.

In a call with investors, Randy Willardsen, Burcon’s senior vice president process, said he is “blown away about what these products can do against whey protein isolates”​.

For more information about protein, and the latest headlines in this area, please click on the following link to see NutraIngredients-USA’s focused protein section​. 

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