Protein characterization by Amino acid profile

Since many years whey protein supplements are very popular among athletes, especially body builders and fitness athletes. The optimal amino acid composition of whey protein which shows to be particular rich in essential amino acids is ideal for muscle gain and maintenance. Not all dietary proteins have the same nutritional value, due to a different amino acid profile. The PDCAAS and DIAAS (Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score) methods are becoming increasingly popular to evaluate the nutritional value of proteins.

For the evaluation of the nutritional value of proteins, the DIAAS method uses data on the digestibility and bioavailability of the individual amino acids and not of the protein as a whole. Ansynth can support in these methods by providing the total overview of amino acids (bond and free) in proteins.

Whey protein

Progressive increase of whey protein prices due to extensive growth of worldwide infant milk productions, leads to undesired side effects as some production companies have been shown to try to keep their margins by illegaly manipulating their products through “amino acid spiking”. Spiking involves replacement of high value whey protein by low level compounds such as amino acids like glycine, taurine, glutamine or low value protein as e.g. collagen. Glycine and glutamine are relatively cheap non-essential amino acids. Collagen is a cheap protein but does not contribute much in terms of nutritional value as it consists predominantly of glycine, alanine and proline, all non-essential amino acids. And although taurine is an important metabolic compound, it might even cause negative side effects when taken in large amounts.

Production companies, who are involved in replacement or spiking, count on the fact that most whey protein products or supplements are typically analyzed for their total nitrogen content as determination of the protein content. Unfortunately this analysis does not distinguish the origin of the detected nitrogen. For instance addition of 20% glycine would still count as protein content. The best way to determine the nutritional value of a whey protein supplement is to analyze the complete amino acid profile. Alternatively analysis of free amino acids (amino acids not bound to proteins) can be performed to check for  amino acid additions, as factory produced whey powders do not contain significant amounts of free amino acids

The possibilities of tampering with e.g. sport supplements make it therefore necessary to test protein and amino acid supplements for composition and content. Ansynth is highly specialized in analyzing amino acid profiles in nearly any type of sample and especially for (whey) protein and amino acid supplements we maintain customized programs with very attractive rates. Please inquire for possibilities.