Global protein nutrition : essential amino acids availability : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Technology in Food Technology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Information on protein production and consumption by country and by food type
is well known and accepted, and is available on the internet from FAOSTAT. However, this database contains no information about the nutritional value of
those proteins and is not corrected for digestibility, so is not possible to identify
where there may be insufficiencies of protein nutrition or of particular essential
amino acids. In this work, the data from FAOSTAT is corrected for true protein
digestibility values and amino acid composition of the main food protein types,
to develop a model of protein nutrition that identifies current patterns of
essential amino acid (EAA) availability in different countries.
It was found that a population lacking in total protein supply could still get all the
required EAA in the required amounts if the consumed food pattern is designed
properly. Forty countries were identified as having a lower protein supply than
56 g. per day per capita, but only 13 countries were estimated to receive an
inadequate supply of essential amino acids. Lysine deficiency was most
common in these 13 countries due to consumption of a high proportion of
protein from cereals, which are a poor source of lysine, because of both
composition and poor digestibility. Thus a greater quantity of low quality protein
such as cereal protein is needed to meet the recommended requirement of all
the essential amino acids, particularly lysine.
The impact of income and specifically rapid per capita income growth on diet
over time and by different socioeconomic classes is studied for India. This study
found that food distribution and ability to purchase nutritionally adequate foods
was dependent on income of an individual person. Cereals continued to
constitute the main category of food consumed in both rural and urban India.
There were large rural-urban and inter-state differences in the monthly
consumption of even the basic food items. Rural Gujarat was the only region in
this study where inadequate supply of lysine was observed for the population in
the all-Gujarat average figure, at 95.9%.
The nutritional requirement of elderly population, mainly increased RDA of
protein intake and role of essential amino acids were studied, considering that
the proportion of population aged 60 or over will be 22% in 2050 compared to
11% in 2009. Different protein sources have been shown in the literature to
stimulate muscle protein synthesis in varying degrees in elderly population. The
most important factor was the amount of essential amino acids in the protein, in
particular, leucine. Differences in digestibility and bioavailability of certain
protein-rich foods may also influence muscle protein synthesis.
During the World Summit on Food Security in 2009, it was recognized that by
2050 there will a requirement to supply 70% additional food to the global
population. One of the options to increase food supply and to decrease the
environmental pressure of current food production system is to minimise the
waste. It is also important to plan an integrated approach about agricultural
innovation and population health which will help us to prepare a matrix to supply
the nutritional quality of food to the future world. It was also concluded that
cereals were the major source of protein and calories for nearly half of the
world’s population including China, India and sub-Saharan African countries.
The improvement in the cereals would be helpful to close the inadequacy gaps
in protein and essential amino acids in many countries by increasing the
essential amino acids in plant crops with emphasis on lysine and leucine, e.g.
by genetically modified food crops specific requirements to meet future demand
for protein and EAA are described.