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Separating the wheat from the chaff: nutritional value of plant proteins and their potential contribution to human health

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-18, 08:53 authored by Robert W. Davies, Philip M. Jakeman
The quality and nutritional value of dietary proteins are determined by the quantity, digestibility and bioavailability of essential amino acids (EAA), which play a critical role in human growth, longevity and metabolic health. Plant-source protein is often deficient in one or more EAAs (e.g., branched-chain amino acids, lysine, methionine and/or tryptophan) and, in its natural form, is less digestible than animal-source protein. Nevertheless, dietary intake of plant-source protein has been promoted because of its potential health benefits, lower cost of production and lower environmental impact compared to animal-source protein. Implementation of dietary strategies that improve both human and planetary health are of critical importance and subject to growing interest from researchers and consumers. Therefore, in this review we analyse current plant protein intake patterns and discuss possible countermeasures that can enhance plant protein nutrition, examples include: (1) combining different plant proteins with complementary EAA profiles; (2) identification and commercial cultivation of new and novel high-quality plant proteins; (3) industrial and domestic processing methods; and (4) genome-editing techniques.

History

Publication

Nutrients;12, 2410

Publisher

MDPI

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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