Major protein purveyors meeting label claim as far as ID is concerned, test concludes

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Major protein purveyors meeting label claim as far as ID is concerned, test concludes
An analysis conduced by Dyad Labs concludes that of a suite of products tested, major protein manufacturers are meeting label claim when it comes to protein identity.

Dyad Labs is a relatively new company that started as the in house laboratory arm of contract manufacturer VMI Nutrition in 2008.  More recently, VMI was acquired and renamed Genysis, and the lab was spun off as a separate entity. The company moved into a new facility in Salt Lake City, UT in October.

New protein methods

Dyad has pioneered some methods for protein analysis.  Their techniques for identifying whey, casein, pea, rice and soy proteins have been adopted by the AOAC as official methods, said senior vice president Spencer Carter.

Identifying proteins has been something of a challenge over the years, Carter said.  VMI Nutrition had concentrated on producing protein powders for clients, so Carter said the lab had had a lot of experience in protein analysis.

“The compendial method states seven different tests and if all conducted properly you can confidently identify a protein,” ​he said.

“What makes our method distinct is that we are measuring a protein directly.  This really provides the most conclusive evidence,”​ Carter told NutraIngredients-USA.

Products met label claim for ID

As a way of publicizing the lab’s capabilities, the company recently embarked on a project to test a suit of representative products bought off the shelf.  Dyad purchased 25 products;  five each of products that claimed soy, pea or rice protein on the label, five whey protein products and five products that claimed casein.

The results were encouraging for the transparency of the industry, Carter said.  The products, for the most part, were what they said they were.

“For the ID part of it it, it left us feeling pretty good about the industry,” ​he said. 

One issue that Dyad did uncover is that some products were making  “100% whey” or “100% casein”  claims weren’t quite living up to it, Carter said.

“Some of the 100%t whey actually had some casein in there and vice versa. That’s not abnormal.  We see that pretty regularly,”​ he said.

Quantitation still an issue

One issue that continues to hover over the protein sector is the quantitation of the protein.  Some other ingredients besides whole protein—such as amino acids—can be added in to blends to provide extra nitrogen to fool tests and make it appear is if there is more protein in a blend than is actually the case.  One highly dangerous ingredient—melamine—has in the past been used in this way, too, which is why is it among the standard adulterants that Dyad looks for, Carter said.

“AOAC had two calls for protein methods [that could determine these sources]. Nobody actually submitted a method for quantitation.  It’s easy to adulterate products and get away with it because the test is not specific,”​ he said.

“There is  still not a great way to directly quantitate the protein of interest.  It’s a complex problem,” ​Carter said.

Full range of capabilities

At its new location Dyad offers a full range of chemical and microbial testing services with an  ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation. According to the company the lab’s capabilities include multiple Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) systems and ultra-pressure liquid chromatography (UPLC) with photo-diode array (PDA) and MS detection. They also include GC/MS/MS and GC/FID analyses; as well as trace metal and mineral testing services by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and Direct Mercury Analyzer (DMA). Fat, fiber, glutens, nitrogen analysis, FTIR, water activity, density testing, stability, and several other chemical tests are also available.

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