Plant-based meat is available in human nutrition and has become more popular. Therefore, there has been an interest in the development of plant-based alternative proteins such as plant-based burgers. The DIAAS method is recommended as the best method to evaluate protein quality in human foods, although the PDCAAS method is also being used. However, there are no data for DIAAS or PDCAAS in plant-based burgers and it is not known how the protein quality in plant-based burgers compares with pork burger. Thus, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that pork protein has greater protein quality than plant protein included in plant-based burgers. The research was conducted by measuring amino acid digestibility in pigs and calculating DIAAS and PDCAAS values based on FAO recommendations. Seven diets were formulated using a pork burger, two plant burgers or a burger bun as the sole source of protein or combinations of pork or plant burgers and burger bun. Scores were calculated for toddlers from 6 months to 3 years old, preschool children from 2 to 5 years old, and for individuals older than 3 years. Results indicated that pork burger and the combination of pork burger and bun have greater protein quality than if plant-based burgers are consumed.

Contact information:

Mahesh Narayanan Nair
Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Sciences
Colorado State University
Email: [email protected]

Hans H. Stein, PhD
Phone: (217) 333-0013
Email: [email protected]