Impossible and Beyond burgers’ amino acids don’t measure up to meat burgers, finds study


Food Ingredients First

18 Nov 2021


A US study funded by the Beef Checkoff and the National Pork Checkoff claims that there are fewer digestible amino acids in plant-based Impossible and Beyond Meat burgers than in pork or beef versions. Therefore, it suggests that the way that protein is expressed on current nutrition labels – a single generic value expressed in grams – can be misleading.


The outcomes were leveraged against the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS).


Both beef and pork burgers, served without buns, scored as “excellent” sources of protein. The Impossible Burger, when served without a bun, scored as “an excellent protein source” for ages three years and older but not for children less than three years.


With a value of 83, the bunless Beyond Burger was a “good” source of protein for ages three and older.


“It’s particularly children, teenagers, lactating women and older people who are at risk of not getting enough amino acids,'' says Hans Stein, professor at the Department of Animal Sciences and the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Illinois and co-author on the European Journal of Nutrition study.


“Results of this experiment, along with previous data, demonstrate the importance of getting animal-based proteins into diets to provide sufficient quantities of digestible essential amino acids to these populations,” he underscores.


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